Last minute madness: VfB Stuttgart holds the class!

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Last minute madness: VfB Stuttgart holds the class!

By Niklas Noack

Stuttgart – Last minute madness! Of VfB Stuttgart Have that 1. FC Köln on the last day of the game 1. National League beat 2: 1 (1: 0) and thus kept the class. Domstädter missed the Europa League due to defeat.

Pure relief: Sasa Kalajdzic (left) heads in and makes it 1-0 for VfB Stuttgart. © Tom Weller / dpa

In front of 58,453 spectators in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Sasa Kalajdzic gave the home team a 1-0 lead (13th minute), before Anthony Modeste scored the 1-1 equalizer (59th) and Wataru Endo scored the decisive 2-1 (90th + 2).

Compared to a 2-2 draw for FC Bayern Munich, VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo changed his starting lineup to just one position. Orel Mangala came on, Omar Marmoush had to leave the fray.

FC coach Steffen Baumgart made two changes after the 1-0 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg. Instead of Benno Schmitz and Jan Thielmann, Kingsley started Ehizibue and Dejan Ljubicic.

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VfB Stuttgart
VfB am Scheideweg: What about the future of Mislintat and Matarazzo?

There was an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium right from the start, but it was primarily the fans who were responsible for this in the beginning, while the two teams were still looking at each other.

Then the Swabians got the upper hand and created chances. Tiago Tomas had a shot on goal in the six-yard box, but Marvin Schwäbe was on his guard and deflected the ball to the side (9 ‘).

The line-up of VfB Stuttgart against 1. FC Köln

This is how 1. FC Köln started in VfB Stuttgart

Sasa Kalajdzic first missed a penalty kick and then put VfB Stuttgart ahead against 1. FC Köln

At 1. FC Köln, not much went together in the first half.

At 1. FC Köln, not much went together in the first half. © Tom Weller / dpa

A little later it got wild. Luca Kilian pulled Kalajdzic to the ground in the penalty area, then referee Robert Schröder awarded a penalty kick. The man who was fouled started himself, but Schwäbe kept his goal clean with an excellent foot defense. Stuttgart did better from the resulting corner and Kalajdzic converted Chris Führich’s corner with a header to make it 1-0 (13 ‘).

Now VfB had enormous confidence. After 17 minutes, Konstantinos Mavropanos sent a free kick in high over the penalty box.

Stuttgart were better and had Effzeh under control. The only shortcoming, as in the last few weeks, was the exploitation of chances. Captain Wataru Endo missed two great opportunities.

Can VfB Stuttgart stay up?
VfB Stuttgart
Can VfB Stuttgart stay up?

First, he fired the ball from a few meters after a cross from Borna Sosa (32 ‘), before shooting the ball from close range after a Mavropanos shot (35’).

Anthony Modeste equalizes for 1. FC Köln, Wataru Endo scores for VfB Stuttgart to stay up

Waldemar Anton (2nd from right) hugs Sasa Kalajdzic (right) after his goal to make it 1-0 for VfB Stuttgart.

Waldemar Anton (2nd from right) hugs Sasa Kalajdzic (right) after his goal to make it 1-0 for VfB Stuttgart. © Tom Weller / dpa

On the other hand, almost nothing came from Cologne. A shot from Modeste from the second row was easily saved by VfB goalkeeper Florian Müller (45 ‘). Then it became really dangerous again: Stuttgart striker Tomas ran alone towards the FC goal, but failed due to goalkeeper Schwäbe, who raised his arms in time (45 + 3).

After a weak first half, the referees came out of the locker room better and played straight ahead. First, Florian Kainz put the pill wide to the right from a half-left position (47 ‘), before Mark Uth just missed the target with a shot from the near corner (48’).

But VfB initially remained vigilant. With 53 minutes played, Kalajdzic nearly put the visitors another one up as he broke through in the middle and fired from just outside the box, but his shot passed just over the bar.

Then the shock for the Swabians: Stuttgart goalkeeper Florian Müller slipped a post from Kainz through his hands and invited Modeste, who headed the Cologne equalizer (59th).

The Swabians now needed some time to recover from the setback before increasing their number of blows again. However, there were no clear chances before substitute Marmoush tried it from a distance. However, the strong Cologne goalkeeper Schwäbe wiped the ball over the goal (83rd).

Now it got really wrong: Stuttgart’s Endo headed the ball after a corner kick to save 2: 1 (90 + 2). Thus, VfB kept the class, while Cologne missed the Europa League.

Pure escalation after the save: Sasa Kalajdzic (center) rushes towards VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo (left).

Pure escalation after the save: Sasa Kalajdzic (center) rushes towards VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo (left). © Tom Weller / dpa

Cover photo: Tom Weller / dpa

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