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Sunday, May 15, 2005 

Wolfsburg 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen

VfL Wolfsburg ended their home season with a 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen, in the penultimate round of the Bundesliga season in front of 24,771 in the VOLKSWAGENARENA on Saturday (14.5.05). After a superb first half display, the Wolves carved out a 2-0 led thanks to goals by Miroslav Karhan (24.) and Thomas Brdaric (30.). After the break the visitors got a grip on the game and a spectacular volley by Franca gave them hope. On 86 minutes, Bierofka scored to deny the Wolves maximum points.

Two changes
Erik Gerets made two changes to his side which lost 1-3 away to Hertha in round 32. The Belgian dropped Hofland and Klimowicz, and replaced them with Karhan and D’Alessandro. Bayer-Coach Klaus Augenthaler welcomed back Roque Junior and Schneider to his first team. They replaced Dum and Callsen-Bracker in his starting line-up.

Wolves on top
VfL Wolfsburg began to take the game to the visitors from the off. On 3 minutes, Andres D’Alessandro fired an initial warning shot as he unleashed a fierce shot from well out side the Leverkusen penalty area. On 8 minutes, the visiting keeper Butt had a chance to shine as he superbly dealt with a well struck free kick by Fischer.

Karhan heads Wolves in front
On 22 minutes, a dead ball situation brought the lead for the home side. Fischer took a corner from the right which was met with a fine header into the top right hand corner of the net by Karhan, to give the Wolves a well deserved lead. The Wolves turned on the style and the football they played sometimes resembled their performances earlier in the season as they topped the Bundesliga table for 8 rounds.

Brdaric scores against old club
The opening goal unsettled the visiting side, and Thomas Brdaric used the opportunity to grab a goal against his former club on 30 minutes. Juan failed to control a harmless looking high ball on the edge of his own area. Brdaric, being the instinctive goal-getter that he is, anticipated Juan’s difficulties and picked up the loose ball, lobbing over the advancing Butt. After going two goals in front, the Wolves allowed Bayer back into the game but they were unable to stamp any kind of authority on the match which saw the Wolves go into the break with a deserved two goal lead

Augenthaler’s reaction pays off
The Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler brought on Dum for Babic and Franca for the disappointing Voronin at the start of the second half, it was a move that was soon to pay off. The visiting side began to take control at the start of the second half and had the Wolves on the back foot. On 49 minutes, the Wolves keeper Simon Jentzsch made his first saves of the match as he parried a long distance effort by Ramelow and managed to parry the rebound by Freier. To their credit, the Wolves didn’t rest on their laurels and went close on 53 minutes as Petrov forced a fine save from Butt.

Bayer turn things around
Leverkusen seemed to grow in stature as the Wolves looked as if they were running out of steam. On 61 minutes the visitors pulled a goal back as Berbatov somehow managed to get the ball to the unmarked Franca following a corner. The want-away Brazilian let fly with a superb volley from 8 metres out which flew into the Wolfsburg net with Jentzsch rooted to the spot. Bayer put their foot down but were denied by Jentzsch and the post respectively.

Late flurry
The final ten minutes of the game saw the home side creating chances on the counter attack. On 83 minutes, D’Alessandro should have scored after superb build up by his compatriot Menseguez. Somehow the Wolves playmaker managed to blast the ball onto the bar from only 8 minutes out. Four minutes from time, the visitors were rewarded for their second half endeavour, as Schneider back heeled a pass into the path of Bierofka who left Hans Sarpei for dead, before finishing well with a low shot from inside the right hand side of the box.

As you were…
The 2-2 draw was in reality, no use to either side in their quest for European football next season. Both sides need a win on the final game if the season. Leverkusen need 3 points to reach the UEFA Cup, the Wolves will probably have to beat Bielefeld away if they are to at least qualify for the Intertoto Cup.

WOLFSBURG: Jentzsch; Rytter, Franz, Schnoor, Sarpei; Karhan, Thiam, Fischer; D'Alessandro, M. Petrov; Brdaric.

BAYER LEVERKUSEN: Butt; B. Schneider, Juan, Roque Junior, Castro; Ramelow; Freier, Babic, Krzynowek; Berbatov, Voronin

GOALS: 1-0, Karhan (24'); 2-0, Brdaric (30'); 2-1, Franca (61'); 2-2, Bierofka (86')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bayern 33 74*
2. Schalke 33 60
3. Stuttgart 33 58
4. Hertha 33 57
5. Bremen 33 56
9. Wolfsburg 33 45


Source: vfl-wolfsburg.de


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