FM of the Year 2007
Aalst - Belgium
Teams: RSC Anderlecht
Wolfsburg - HSV 1-1
HSV: F. Rost - J. Boateng, B. Reinhardt, Mathijsen, Atouba (65. Benjamin) - Jarolim (81. Kompany), de Jong - Demel, Trochowski (57. Olic) - van der Vaart – Guerrero
Drama galore in Wolfsburg
The Wolves and HSV drew 1-1 in a round 25 Bundesliga clash at the sold out VOLKSWAGEN ARENA on Saturday afternoon. The real drama however came late in the game, as no less than four players were sent off during the final ten minutes. Huub Stevens will now struggle to form a defence against Bielefeld next weekend, after de Jong picked up a 5th booking and Kompany and Mathijsen were both given their marching orders.
Home coach Felix Magath made one change to his side which lost 0-2 away to Bayern in the semi-final of the DFB Cup in midweek. Up front Edin Dzeko (rather surprisingly) got the nod over first choice striker Grafite. HSV coach Huub Stevens kept faith with his team which beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 at home in round 24 of the Bundesliga.
The first goalmouth action came after only two minutes as de Jong could only clear the ball to Marcelinho, who let fly from inside the HSV area, but Reinhardt got his body in the way to clear the danger. On 7 minutes de Jong was booked for a clumsy challenge. It was his fifth yellow card, and he will be suspended for the round 26 game against Bielefeld.
Reinhardt grabs his second of the season
On 14 minutes HSV won two successive corners. Trochowski curled the second on into the Wolfsburg area and onto the head of the unmarked Reinhardt, who rose to easily head home from close range to give the visitors the lead with his second league goal of the season.
On 19 minutes, Ljuboja broke to the byline from where he crossed to Dzeko lurking in the box. The Wolves striker fired wide with a shot on the turn. Moments later the home keeper Benaglio raced out of his goal and reached the ball ahead of van der Vaart. Boateng followed up with a shot from the rebound, but the Wolves keeper dealt with the danger well, getting back into goal in time. Four minutes before the end of the first half Dzeko netted for the Wolves, but was called back by match referee Kinhöfer who had spotted a hand ball beforehand. HSV led 1-0 at the break.
Present from the birthday boy...
On 52 minutes HSV gifted Wolfsburg their equalising goal, as Trochowski lost possession to Gentner on the edge of the HSV area. The ball bobbled to Ljuboja, whose shot from 17 metres was slightly deflected on its way past HSV keeper Rost and into the net. Trochowski paid the ultimate price for his blunder and was replaced by Olic after 57 minutes, despite the fact that is was the 24th birthday of the Germany midfielder.
After 70 minutes the legendary HSV hero Magath decided it was time for a double change. The Wolfsburg coach brought on Grafite for Ljuboja and the former HSV midfielder Laas for Gentner.
Four late dismissals
Things got heated towards the end of the game. First of all Alex Madlung was rightly sent off for pulling down Guerrero on 80 minutes. That decision sparked a chain of dismissals, as referee Kinhöfer gave Kompany a second yellow card only six minutes after the Belgian came on to replace Jarolim, before sending off Grafite and Mathijsen with straight red cards in the final minute of the game.
On the balance of play a draw was about the right result. But the match will be remembered for the late drama and the multitude of dismissals.
Both teams maintain their unbeaten records, but both will be without key players next weekend.