WOLFSBURG, Germany: VfL Wolfsburg's top scorer Wout Weghorst drilled in a first-half winner to kick off their Bundesliga season with a nervous 1-0 victory on Saturday (Aug 14) over promoted VfL Bochum, who played almost the entire game with 10 men.
Weghorst had his first chance with a fourth-minute penalty after Robert Tesche's hand ball that saw him dismissed with a straight red card, as a few thousand Wolfsburg fans were allowed back into the stadium.
The Dutch forward's spot kick was saved but he made amends in the 22nd when he collected the ball in the box with his back to goal, turned quickly with three opponents around him and threaded his shot past them for what turned out to be the winner.
Bochum, back in the Bundesliga after 11 years, did well to stay in the game and had a golden chance to level when Milos Pantovic broke clear only for keeper Koen Casteels to block his shot in the 77th.
Wolfsburg, still awaiting the result of an appeal following their German Cup first round win over Preussen Muenster where the Wolves had mistakenly used six substitutes instead of five, eased off towards the end, allowing Bochum a few more late chances.
VfB Stuttgart had a much easier afternoon against promoted Greuther Fuerth, firing in five goals including two from Marc-Oliver Kempf for a 5-1 win. Hoffenheim were equally effective, beating Augsburg 4-0.
Champions Bayern Munich officially kicked off the Bundesliga season on Friday with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach.