Bobby Wood inspired Hannover to their first win of the season on Saturday with two goals as they saw off VfB Stuttgart 3-1.
Hannover 3-1 Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Wood (30'), 2-0 Wood (45+1'), 2-1 Gomez (50'), 3-1 Bebou (90+1')
Wood had found opportunities hard to come by this season, but he was given one on Saturday and he responded in style. Right from the get-go, the USMNT international appeared keen to convince his coach Andre Breitenreiter that he can complement Niclas Füllkrug rather than play his second fiddle, almost teeing up Takuma Asano after just five minutes. Asano went off injured soon after, but Wood went from strength to strength, steering in Miiko Albornoz's cross with a deft header into the far corner to open his account for the season. More was to come on the stroke of half-time when Wood rose to meet another Albornoz cross and double Hannover's lead.
Stuttgart coach Tayfun Korkut rang the changes at half-time with Erik Thommy and Nicolas Gonzalez sent on to give them a sharper attacking edge, and it took just five minutes for them to pull a goal back with Thommy teeing up Mario Gomez to provide a cool finish. It was backs to the wall for the hosts as Stuttgart built up a head of steam. Hannover had chances on the break with Wood going agonisingly close to completing his hat-trick, but for a fine save from Ron-Robert Zieler, and they sealed victory at the death with Ihlas Bebou threading his shot through Zieler's legs to make it three.
Hannover: Esser - Elez, Anton (c), Felipe, Albornoz – Schwegler (Fossum 87'), Walace – Bebou, Asano (Haraguchi 14') – Füllkrug , Wood (Bakalorz 76')
Unused substitutes: Tschauner, Wimmer, Muslija, Weydandt
Coach: Andre Breitenreiter
Stuttgart: Zieler – Pavard, Baumgartl, Badstuber (Thommy 46') – Beck, Sosa – Ascacibar, Castro (Gonzalez 46'), Gentner (c) (Sarpei 84') - Didavi – Gomez
Unused substitutes: Grahl, Insua, Maffeo, Akolo
Absentees: Donis (thigh), Aogo, Kempf (both thigh)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Watch: Wood excited by goals before USA return!
- Wood scored his eighth and ninth Bundesliga goals, each with headers – the first time he had scored with his head in Germany's top-flight, and the first time he got two in a game.All three of Wood's goals in 2018 have been scored in the state of Lower Saxony, having last scored against Wolfsburg in April.Since re-joining Stuttgart, nine of Gomez's 11 goals have come away from home, including all three this term.Gomez moved onto 166 Bundesliga goals, joining Johannes Löhr in 11th place in the all-time top-scorer charts.Hannover had been the only team yet to win in the Bundesliga this term.VfB haven't won away from home since the final day of last season, when they thrashed champions Bayern Munich 4-1 at the Allianz Arena.