- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) - Wolfsburg’s struggle for Bundesliga survival remains a fraught affair after a 1-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig in the first leg of their relegation/promotion playoff on Thursday.

“We’ll manage it,” Wolfsburg coach Andries Jonker said of his side’s prospects.

Mario Gomez scored the only goal 10 minutes before the break, a penalty awarded for a hand-ball decision against Braunschweig defender Gustav Valsvik.

The goal gives the Volkswagen-backed club a narrow advantage before the second leg of the playoff in Braunschweig on Monday.

“Lions bite. We’ll really bite back on Monday. That I can promise you,” Braunschweig coach Torsten Lieberknecht said, referring to the club’s nickname, The Lions.

Braunschweig was third in Germany’s second division, while Wolfsburg was third from bottom in the Bundesliga after its worst season since securing its own promotion to the top flight in 1997.

Braunschweig was unhappy with referee Sascha Stegemann’s decision to award the penalty. Gomez had already handled the ball to try and control it, and there was little Valsvik could do to prevent Yunus Malli’s shot from the follow-up hitting his arm. Braunschweig midfielder Mirko Boland had the game’s best chance beforehand, heading just wide when he should have scored.

“He’ll score it on Monday,” Lieberknecht said.

The second half was scrappy with few goal chances.

Gomez’s goal was his 18th of the season, one more than the rest of his teammates combined.

There was trouble before the game between Braunschweig fans and police. Police said they used a water cannon to control the situation after they were pelted with stones and bottles.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide