2-0 loss to Stuttgart in friendly
Hannover 96’s final friendly at their training camp in Belek has ended with a 2-0 defeat to VfB Stuttgart. Goals from Kostic and Didavi sealed the win for the side from Baden-Württemberg after a goalless first half.
Yamaguchi with the big chance
Stuttgart had the better start to the match, which was part of the Sunexpress-Cup of Belek. Within the space of two minutes, VfB striker Timo Werner had two chances in front of keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, but on both occasions he put the ball wide of the post. Marvin Wanitzek also lacked composure in front of goal as he squandered another chance to put Stuttgart ahead on the half-hour mark. 96 at first found it difficult to get into the game but eventually began to string passes together, and just ten minutes before the break they found a way through. New signing Hotaru Yamaguchi found himself one-on-one with VfB keeper Mitchell Langerak after steady build-up play in midfield, but he failed to put the ball into the net. Youngster Mike-Steven Bähre then had a chance moments before half time, but his shot flew over the Stuttgart bar and it finished goalless at the break.
Kostic and Didavi score for VfB
Stuttgart coach Jürgen Kramny changed his entire team at half time, with just Kevin Großkreutz remaining on the pitch, and they began the second half with good momentum. Artem Kravets was unable to beat Zieler after good play from Florian Klein, and just minutes later Daniel Didavi directed a free kick towards the top corner from 18 yards out, but neither effort found the back of the 96 net – but not for long. VfB continued their attacking efforts and finally went in front thanks to a strike from Filip Kostic on the hour mark. The Serbia international coolly slotted home from 20 yards, leaving Zieler with no chance. Hannover did not give up and almost found an equaliser through substitute Niklas Feierabend, but Langerak produced a brilliant save to prevent a goal for the Reds. The referee then made a tight call to rule out a Hannover goal as a free kick by Edgar Prib from just inside his own half ended up in the Stuttgart goal, but the officials decided there was an offside – despite Hoffmann clearly being in line. A momentary lapse in concentration amongst the 96 defence was enough for Stuttgart to secure a second goal. Kravets popped up in front of Zieler, and the keeper was initially able to clear with his feet, but there was a VfB already rushing onto the ball and Didavi did not waste any time in nodding it home 15 minutes from time. Schmiedebach’s effort from range and Ádám Szalai’s shot turned out to be just ones for the statistics. Stuttgart did not slacken and continued to press for a third goal against a clearly tired Hannover side – Didavi had the best chance for that just before the full-time whistle. That brought an end to the Sunexpress-Cup of Belek for Thomas Schaaf’s side.
Hannover 96: Zieler - Sakai, Hoffmann, Schulz, Sorg - Yamaguchi, Sané - Bähre (60. Feierabend), Schmiedebach, Prib - Szalai
VfB Stuttgart, 1st half: Langerak - Ferati (34’ Großkreutz), Sunjic, Hlousek, Heise - Ristl - Werner, Wanitzek, Maxim, Kliment - Tashchy
VfB Stuttgart, 2nd half: Tyton - Großkreutz, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Insua - Rupp, Gentner - Klein, Didavi, Kostic - Kravets
Goals: 0-1 Kostic (62’), 0-2 Didavi (73’)