Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(1 - 0)
M. van de Ven (6), L. Nmecha (90)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Casteels instrumental as Wolfsburg overcome frustrated Dortmund

After a routine derby win over Ruhr rivals Bochum last weekend, Borussia Dortmund travelled to Lower Saxony to face Wolfsburg. Amazingly, the hosts have only managed to take one solitary point from their last 14 meetings with the Black and Yellows. Nonetheless, spirits were high in Nico Kovać’s camp ahead of kick-off. Wolfsburg have found themselves on an unbeaten run of six games (W3, D3) ahead of this busy ‘Englische Woche’. Furthermore, Dortmund arrived with noticeable absentees in Marius Wolf and Marco Reus, with the latter replaced by the 22-year-old Marco Pašalić.
Omar Marmoush almost got the Wolves off to a flying start when Kamiński crossed for the Egyptian. Lightning quick reactions from Gregor Kobel were enough to divert the dangerous strike. The home side’s pressure failed to cease in the opening five minutes and a breakthrough was made. Maxi Arnold’s corner was delicately flicked on to find the unmarked Van de Ven who nodded home in acres of space. Dortmund eventually settled, as Donyell Malen drifted inside and brought the best out of Koen Casteels with a 20th minute warning shot.

Marmoush proved to be a real early thorn in BVB’s side – Kobel forced to react again from a narrow angle. Jonas Wind who returned to the Wolves’ line-up was unfortunate not to score after the half hour mark. A difficult header cleared the crossbar, while Süle made a crucial intervention ahead of a second opportunity moments later. Chances were aplenty towards the half’s end. Julian Brandt came within inches of heading Dortmund level five minutes before the break. Similarly, Marmoush curled his shot right of the post at the other end in the subsequent attack. Süle also fired goalward on two occasions as one hit the post, but ‘Die Wölfe’ hung on to their lead.

Terzic’s side took a lively approach to the second half. A couple of corners and a Süle cross gave the VfL rear-guard some trouble. Youssoufa Moukoko got his first sniff of goal since his brace against Bochum, however Casteels was behind the dangerous header. Wind and Felix Nmecha stung the hands of Kobel on 60 minutes as Gio Reyna entered the fray for the visitors. It wasn’t long before Hazard and Modeste were introduced long in coming on as Kamiński dragged a 74th minute chance wide on the break.

Pašalić did get his chance with just over ten minutes to play. Once more Casteels was able to parry a venomous Moukoko shot to safety. The Belgian shot-stopper looked impenetrable tonight with several saves which appeared destined to continue Wolfsburg’s unbeaten streak. The game was finally put to bed in the second minute of injury time. Brandt’s slip surrendered possession to Wimmer who hit the end line and cut the ball back for Lucas Nmecha who turned home for 2-0. BVB travel to Gladbach next Friday, while Wolfsburg make the trip to Hoffenheim before the impending World Cup break.

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