VfL Wolfsburg made a winning start to 2019 on Sunday, recording a comfortable 3-0 victory over Dutch top-flight side Vitesse Arnheim on the fourth day of their training camp in the Algarve. The Green-Whites have so far taken part in eight training sessions at their mid-season camp in southern Portugal, but there was no sign of fatigue from Bruno Labbadia’s team, who produced a promising display at the Estadio Municipal de Albufeira.
Both teams ended the first half of the campaign in fifth place in their respective leagues, but it was the Wolves who made the better start as an own goal from Danilho Doekhi put VfL in front after just seven minutes. Daniel Ginczek doubled their lead soon afterwards (17’), before Admir Mehmedi completed the scoring ten minutes from time.
VfL will continue their preparations for the second half of the season at their Almancil base until 12 January. Before returning to Wolfsburg, Labbadia’s side face Croatian top-flight outfit HNK Rijeka in their second and final mid-season friendly. That game also takes place at the Estadio Municipal de Albufeira and kicks off at 12:30 CET.
Labbadia rings the changes at half-time
While Vitesse head coach Leonid Slutski made four changes at half-time, goalkeeper Pavao Pervan was the only Wolves player not to be taken off at the break. VfL continued to dominate proceedings after the restart, but despite some eye-catching build-up play they failed to extend their lead in the opening stages of the second half. Martin Ödegaard narrowly missed the target from a free-kick on 77 minutes, before Sebastian Jung set up Mehmedi to put the seal on a comfortable VfL victory.
VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia: “Overall, I’m satisfied with the result and our performance. I much preferred the second half to the first, though, because we were able to put more of the things we had discussed into practice. We gave the ball away too easily in the first half and were more reactive than proactive, but it was much better in the second half. I thought the standard was good - Vitesse were good opponents who went about their game in a very aggressive but fair manner and caused us problems. It was also important for us that almost all our players got 45 minutes of action. That’s why we made those changes.”
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Verhaegh (William 46’), Knoche (Tisserand 46’), Uduokhai (Brooks 46’), G.-L. Itter (Roussillon 46’) – Rexhbecaj (Jung 46’), Guilavogui (Gerhardt 46’) – Klaus (Steffen 46’), Malli (Arnold 46’), Brekalo (Yeboah 46’) – Ginczek (Mehmedi 46’)
Vitesse: Eduardo (Pasveer 46’) – Karavaev, Doekhi (Thelander 46’), Clarke-Salter (Ali 46’), Büttner (Clark 46’) – Serero, Foor – Ödegaard, Bero, Linssen – Darfalou (Margaret 46’)
Goals: 1-0 Doekhi (7’ o.g.), 2-0 Ginczek (17’), 3-0 Mehmedi (80’)
Yellow cards: - / Büttner
Referee: Nuno Castro (Portugal)
Attendance: Approx. 500
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