Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 2
(1 - 2)
D. Undav (1), W. Anton (26), D. Undav (45)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Undav brace helps Stuttgart keep grip on third place in Bundesliga table

A second consecutive 2-1 league victory proved sufficient to help Sebastian Hoeneß' VfB Stuttgart cement third-place in the Bundesliga table on Saturday evening. Hoeneß' Swabians will wrap up the weekend three points clear of Borussia Dortmund after topping Eintracht Frankfurt away at Deutsche Bank Park. 
Sebastian Hoeneß' surprise VfB Stuttgart responded in kind to Dortmund's victory earlier today with their own win in the 2023/24 German Bundesliga's 12th round "Top-Spiel". Hoeneß side took out Dino Toppmöller's Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at Deutsche Bank bank in Saturday's late kickoff. A Deniz Undav brace helped the visiting Cannstatter overcome a Waldemar Anton goal and extend their league-winning-streak to two fixtures.

VfB trainer Hoeneß kept the exact same personnel and tactics in place from the most recent league win against Dortmund. Toppmöller, on the other hand, opted for both a personnel change and a tactical re-format. Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe took over for central defender Hrvoje Smolcic. The formation shifted from a 3-4-3 to a 4-3-3 with an extra winger in the mix. Stuttgart scoring sensation Serhou Guirassy - as he did in the last round - began the game on the bench. Undav started as the lead striker.

The match had barely kicked off when the 2023/24 Bundesliga's surprise side opened the scoring. Advancing left-back Maximilian Mittelstädt unlocked teammate Enzo Millot with a great ball aimed central. Millot, in turn, picked up Undav in stride. The Brighton & Hove Albion loanee buried the first chance of the match for a 1-0 lead. To their credit, the Hessian hosts didn't allow themselves to be rattled and slowly played their way back into the match. A deserved equalizer came in the 26th.

Stuttgart defender Anton inadvertently tipped the ball into his own net after some nice set-up work from Ellyes Skhiri and Philipp Max. Anton sent Max's cross past his own keeper for the 1-1. Frankfurt continued to have the upper hand for most of the first-half's duration. It would nevertheless be the visiting Swabians who retook the lead shortly before the break. Undav headed home the 2-1 at 45+1. After a lengthy review, the goal was allowed to stand after Millot's offside position was ruled non-interfering.

Chris Führich - experiencing some finishing problems prior to the international break - missed a golden opportunity to extend Stuttgart's lead eight minutes after the restart. Hoeneß' Württembergers continued to generate chances via the subbed on Guirassy, Silas, and Josha Vagnoman after the hour-mark. SGE keeper Kevin Trapp stood tall against a few not un-dangerous efforts. Trapp's team, meanwhile, got forward more often and looked the slightly more threatening side down the stretch.

Matters heated up significantly in the final ten minutes, with Guirassy coming close in the 82nd, Eintracht sub Jessic Ngnakam missing an open goal in the 88th. Ngankam's near-miss proved the final chance in the affair after neither side could muster up much through five minutes of injury time. Stuttgart's second consecutive 2-1 win leaves the team comfortable in third-place in the Bundesliga table on 27 points.

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