Stuttgart’s Commanding Victory Over Hamburg in Bundesliga Play-off

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Credit: AP

VfB Stuttgart dominated the field against SV Hamburg in the first leg of their Bundesliga play-off. The top-flight team secured a commanding 3-0 victory at home, setting a strong precedent for the second leg of the play-off.

The match started with a bang as Konstantinos Mavropanos headed in unchallenged in the very first minute. Despite some shaky defending from Hamburg, Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy missed the opportunity to extend the lead, shooting straight at Hamburg’s goalkeeper, Daniel Heuer Fernandes.

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Guirassy, who recently had his buy option from Stade Rennes triggered by Stuttgart, had a similarly weak penalty saved. However, the tide turned in the 51st minute when Josha Vagnoman was given the freedom of the Mercedes-Benz Arena to score. Guirassy finally found his mark when he nodded in another corner, making it third time lucky for him.

Stuttgart’s midfielder, Chris Fuhrich, commented on the victory, “We have set a good base for the second game but there is 90 minutes to come. We’ve got to stay focused.” He also acknowledged that they could have scored more goals.

The situation worsened for Hamburg when Anssi Suhonen was sent off for a thigh-high studs-up tackle nine minutes after coming off the bench. Despite the setback, Heuer Fernandes remained optimistic, stating, “3-0 is a tough result, but we still believe. We have to stay brave. In football everything is possible.

This match was particularly significant for Stuttgart, who were the last top-flight side to lose the play-off, going down to Union Berlin in 2019. The 2007 champions, who have been relegated twice since that triumph but twice bounced straight back up, went into the play-off wary but emerged victorious

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