Wolfsburg take first step towards Bundesliga survival

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Berlin, May 18 (IANS) Wolfsburg reaped a 3-1 victory over lower league side Holstein Kiel in the first leg of the Bundesliga relegation play-off.

Wolfsburg made a big step towards another season in Germany’s top flight on Thursday, as goals from Divock Origi, Josip Brekalo and Yunus Malli were enough to ease past the visitors, reports Xinhua news agency.

Both sides staged a lively opening period still it were the hosts who opened the scoring with 13 minutes when Divock Origi tapped home the rebound from Renato Steffen from close range.

Wolfsburg gained momentum and should have doubled their advantage moments later but William was unable to beat Holstein Kiel goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.

The hosts were on the front foot but Holstein Kiel scored the equalizer against the run of the game as Dominick Drexler danced through Wolfsburg defence before Kingsley Schindler poked home in the 34th minute.

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Bruno Labbadia’s men responded well and restored their one-goal lead six minutes later when Josip Brekalo hammered home a deflected ball with a one-timer from outside the box.

After the restart, Holstein Kiel squandered a promising chance to level the scores again but Wolfsburg’ s goalkeeper Koen Casteels denied Drexler.

Wolfsburg cut a better figure in front of the opponent’s goal as Yunus Malli benefitted on Origi’s build up work to round goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm for the 3-1 lead in the 56th minute.

With the two-goal lead behind Wolfsburg retracted and focussed on protecting their advantage to the final whistle. However, Holstein Kiel piled on the pressure and came to a number of promising opportunities in the closing period.

Wolfsburg were nevertheless able to run down the clock and take a two-goal advantage into the second leg at Holstein Kiel on Monday.

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–IANS

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