Wolfsburg - With his side 1-0 up, Bas Dost collected a pass on the edge of the penalty area, controlled the ball with a touch and slid a classy finish into the corner to double the visitors' lead.
The Dutchman's strike helped VfL Wolfsburg to a 3-1 win at 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 12, maintaining a considerable transformation in fortunes for player and team in like measure in recent weeks.
For all their investment in fresh faces over the summer, the Wolves' start to the campaign had been little short of disastrous. After eight games, they were bottom of the table behind FC Augsburg and Bundesliga new boys Greuther Fürth, with a paltry seven points on the board. Head coach - and sporting director - Felix Magath took his bow at that juncture, and the immediate future of the club was up in the air.
Under the stewardship of his interim successor Lorenz-Günther Köstner, though, the ship has not just been steadied, it is now steaming up the league with increasing momentum. Correspondingly, Dost, a flagship pre-season signing from SC Heerenveen, has come on leaps and bounds in a team now beginning to deliver on their potential.
The 23-year-old now has six goals to his name this season, with five of them coming in his last five appearances. The gangly striker arrived in the Bundesliga having scored 45 times in 66 appearances in his native Eredivisie, and is starting to justify his prolific reputation in Germany too.
Köstner has seemingly stripped the team down to its basic elements, ignoring the fact that he has the league’s biggest squad at his disposal and fielding the same starting eleven in the last five games. Dost is now benefitting greatly from a settled midfield behind him that is providing him with some excellent service, evidenced by Josue's clever assist in Hoffenheim and the general brilliance of midfield talisman Diego.
"Bas had some problems at the beginning, but now he’s on a really good run," beamed Köstner after the result in Sinsheim that took the team onto 16 points. Dost’s recent good form was further rewarded recently by Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal, who gave the forward his first call-up for the recent friendly with Germany.
Dost, who was "delighted to be part of the national team squad," remained an unused subsitiute in the 0-0 draw in the Amsterdam Arena last Wednesday. Far from feeling disappointed however, he drew on the confidence the original nomination had given him to help spearhead Matchday 12’s victory at the Rhein Neckar-Arena.
Köstner is of the opinion that the best is yet to come from Dost and has challenged the on-form striker to maintain his current streak. "He's a player who always wants to achieve more, but he still has some way to go before he really fulfills his potential," the coach stressed.
That is a challenge that Dost will surely be happy to rise to and if he negotiates it successfully, the Wolfsburg faithful can look foward to celebrating a worthy successor to the likes of former favourites Edin Dzeko and Mario Mandzukic.