Wolfsburg stay in the hunt
Ivica Olic kept Wolfsburg's Champions League hopes alive as he struck late to earn his side a 2-1 win at Stuttgart.
Last Updated: 03/05/14 5:00pm
Ivica Olic kept Wolfsburg's hopes of playing Champions League football next season alive as he struck late to earn his side a 2-1 win at Stuttgart.
Kevin De Bruyne had given the Wolves the lead but Christian Gentner levelled for Huub Stevens' men, who needed a point to be certain of preserving their place in the Bundesliga next season.
With Hamburg and Nurnberg both losing, that point was not ultimately necessary, and Olic's late goal did not do too much harm to Stuttgart, although it could prove to be priceless for Dieter Hecking's men as they now trail fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen by just a point going into the final weekend of the season.
Wolfsburg showed a little more hunger early on and Ivan Perisic went closer with an early header.
They took the lead after Stuttgart failed to clear a corner fully and the ball fell out to De Bruyne, who hammered the ball in from 20 yards out, leaving Sven Ulreich no chance in the Stuttgart goal, while two of his defenders were on the ground after clashing heads.
Wolfsburg tried to turn the screw and Ulreich stretched to tip a Ricardo Rodriguez free-kick over the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
The hosts already knew that they were on course for safety even with a defeat as they emerged for the second half as Hamburg and Nurnberg were both losing their matches, yet they did not look intent on accepting a defeat.
They levelled when Gentner was put through with only Diego Benaglio to beat, and the former Wolfsburg midfielder did not celebrate after picking his spot inside the Swiss goalkeeper's near post.
Stuttgart were now in the ascendency and Ibrahima Traore's shot hit the outside of the post as they went close to taking the lead.
In the end it was Olic who pounced at the other end to score from close range and preserve Wolfsburg's Champions League hopes, although both sets of fans had reason to celebrate when the final whistle sounded.