Sinsheim - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim preserved their unbeaten start to the 52nd Bundesliga campaign, but were denied all three points as Ivica Olic struck late to secure a share of the spoils for top-four aspirants VfL Wolfsburg in a 1-1 draw.
Olic spares Wolves' blushes
Diego Benaglio made his eagerly-anticipated return for the Wolves, but it was Hoffenheim’s fresh faces who made the bigger impact. Modeste and Sejad Salihovic - both in the starting line-up for the first time this season - combined to great effect with the Bosnian latching onto the striker’s flick-on before failing to get the better of Benaglio in a one-on-one situation after eight minutes.
Having made the more promising start to proceedings, the hosts began letting their grip slip approaching the half-hour mark with Olic slicing a fierce effort wide from a tight angle. Luiz Gustavo and Maximilian Arnold both spurned half chances before the break, but the impetus had clearly swung in Wolfsburg’s favour. Disappointingly, the visitors were unable to maintain their momentum after the restart as the introduction of Tarik Elyounoussi for the injured Salihovic breathed new life into the hosts.
Roberto Firmino’s near-post header was cleared off the line, but Wolfsburg failed to heed the warning with Modeste sneaking in behind to open the scoring, getting the faintest of touches on Andreas Beck’s in-swinging delivery. Desperate to snatch an equaliser, the Wolves threw bodies forward in the closing stages. Olic acted as Wolfsburg’s saving grace, turning home Daniel Caligiuri’s drilled cross to earn his side, reduced to ten men after substitute Josuha Guilavogui picked up two late bookable offences, a deserved point.
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