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Sunday, March 06, 2005 

Monchengladbach 1-0 Wolfsburg

The Wolves threw away what they thought to be a certain point in the Borussen Park on Saturday afternoon, as a late goal by Vaclav Sverkos put paid to any Wolfsburg ambitions of taking something from the Bundesliga round 24 match. In a scrappy game with little goalmouth action, the big crowd saw an even fist half. After the break however, the Wolves seemed to lose the plot somewhat. The win pulled Gladbach clear of the dreaded drop zone for the present moment. This latest loss away from home has taken the Wolves further away from the lucrative international places.

Forced changes
The Wolfsburg coach Erik Gerets was forced to do without the considerable services of Quiroga (suspended) and Weiser (knee problem). Maik Franz took the place of the missing Argentinean, while there was a surprise recall fort he German international striker Thomas Brdaric to the starting line-up. Both sides tried hard at the start, but were rarely able to string more than three passes together in one move. On ten minutes, Brdaric went close with a header which flew just over the bar.

Niggly fouls
The flow of the game was constantly interrupted by niggly fouls, which meant that most of the few chances created came from dead ball situations. Both sides failed to reach their target players with either promising free kicks or corners. The only real chance for the home side fell to Milan Fukal on 25 minutes. A Neuville corner from the right was headed by Sonck to the back post where Fukal was lurking, the Czech-born player's shot struck the outside of a post. The game remained goalless at half time.

Gladbach on top
Gladbach improved dramatically at the start of the second half. Their Dutch-born coach Dick Advokaat must have found the right words at half time! They came out as if on a mission, and had the visitors on the back foot for most of the time. A period of sustained pressure by Gladbach, saw them waste several chances. On 52 minutes, Sonck was foiled by the Wolves skipper Simon Jenzsch, as he headed towards goal from close range, only 2 minutes later, Neuville went close with a shot as he rounded off a nice looking counter attack. On 56 minutes, Fukal also went close with a powerful header.

Flash in the pan
That 6 minute period of pressure turned out to be only a flash in the pan. After an hour the game settled down and began to resemble the mediocre level of the first half. The Wolves tried to press forward, but things failed to click up front, and their playmaker Andres D’Alessandro remained almost invisible all game. The home side made a late push for glory and Advokaat brought on Sverkos, it was a move which was to pay handsome dividends, because it was Sverkos who got the better of Rytter on 87 minutes to score from close range while falling to the ground, following good work by Neuville and Fukal.

Deserved win
On the balance of play, the home side deserved this crucial win, which has given them some breathing space above the relegation zone. The Wolves can only point the finger of blame at themselves after yet another lacklustre performance away from home. All Wolves fans will be hoping that their side will be able to return to winning ways in round 25, as they take on Hanover.

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Keller - Fukal, Moore, van Kerckhoven, Jansen - Thijs - Kluge, Böhme - Ulich - Sonck, Neuville

VfL Wolfsburg: Jentzsch - Rytter, Franz, Hofland, Schnoor - Thiam - Karhan - D'Alessandro - M. Petrov - Brdaric, Klimowicz

Goals: 1:0 Sverkos (87.)

Source: vfl-wolfsburg.de


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern 24 50
2. Schalke 24 50
3. Bremen 24 43
4. Stuttgart 24 42
5. Hertha 24 40
8. Wolfsburg 24 34

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