Borussia win last pre-season friendly 2-1 against Groningen
The Foals recorded a 2-1 win in their final friendly of pre-season against Dutch top-flight side FC Groningen.
Matchday 16 in the Bundesliga saw Borussia Mönchengladbach draw 2-2 with VfB Stuttgart. The Foals were on course for all three points until a late, controversial decision by VAR allowed the hosts to equalise from the penalty spot.
It was a high intensity match from the early stages, with both sides creating chances. Yann Sommer and Gregor Kobel were tested at either ends in the space of 60 seconds, and the two goalkeepers were alert to keep out Orel Mangala and Breel Embolo respectively around the 15-minute mark. Despite a very even first half, it was Borussia who took a lead into the break. Borna Sosa’s poorly timed tackle felled Stefan Lainer in the penalty area, and Lars Stindl stepped up to convert the spot-kick in emphatic fashion (34’).
Stuttgart started the second half stronger and soon found an equaliser with Nicolas Gonzalez in space to head home a pinpoint cross from Sosa (58’). The Foals didn’t waste time delivering a response, however. Stindl’s perfectly weighted through ball put Denis Zakaria in behind, and the Swiss midfielder picked out the bottom corner to make it 2-1 (61’). The closing stages were tense and culminated in a controversial penalty decision. Ramy Bensebaini had his arms around Sasa Kalajdzic as he went down, but referee Felix Brych initially waved away the decision. VAR intervened and the penalty was given, allowing Silas Wamangituka to equalise in the 96th minute.
Marco Rose decided not to make any changes to the side that started in the win over FC Bayern Munich last week, despite Breel Embolo undergoing hand surgery during the week.
Alassane Plea was fit enough to return to the bench, although the Borussia coach remained without the suspended Marcus Thuram and an injured Valentino Lazaro.
Stuttgart: Kobel – Stenzel (82’ Didavi), Anton, Kempf – Wamangituka, Mangala, Endo, Sosa, Klimowicz (56’ Kalajdzic), Castro (74’ Klement) – Gonzalez (82’ Coulibaly)
Borussia: Sommer – Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Kramer (72’ Herrmann), Zakaria (89’ Bénes) – Neuhaus, Stindl (72’ Wolf), Hofmann – Embolo (61’ Plea)
Goals: 0-1 Stindl (35’, pen.), 1-1 Gonzalez (58’), 1-2 Zakaria (61’), 2-2 Wamangituka (90+6’, pen.)
Yellow cards: Gonzalez, Wamangituka – Zakaria, Stindl, Hofmann
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (Munich)