Stuttgart defeats Kaiserslautern
Netherlands defender Khalid Boulahrouz scored only his second goal in 102 Bundesliga appearances to seal a 2-0 win for Stuttgart at Kaiserslautern on Friday.
Boulahrouz scored in the 69th minute with a heavily deflected speculative effort from the right of the penalty area that gave goalkeeper Kevin Trapp no chance.
“I had the feeling the goal had to come sometime,” Boulahrouz said. “Today I got an assist and a goal. I’m very happy.”
Cacau opened the scoring in the 52nd when Tamas Hajnal set up Boulahrouz to cross beyond the reach of Trapp, for the Germany striker to easily tap into the unguarded net.
Kaiserslautern created more chances, only to be denied by Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich on several occasions and poor finishing on others.
“Today we rode our luck a little bit,” said Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia, who played for Kaiserslautern from 1988 to ’91.
With five losses from eight games, Kaiserslautern could finish the weekend in the relegation zone, with the rest of the round yet to be played.
“We played so well at times and made so many chances … we simply have to make more out of them,” said Kaiserslautern captain Christian TIffert. “It’s annoying.”
Ulreich denied Tiffert in a one-on-one after a well-worked move in the 15th, before Richard Sukuta-Pasu fired narrowly left.
Thanos Petsos was next to draw a save from Ulreich in the 22nd, as the home side maintained the pressure.
Boulahrouz was lucky to escape punishment for a dangerous lunge on Itay Shechter’s ankle five minutes later, when the Israel striker needed treatment.
Cacau went close after the break, but finally scored for the first time in six games after Hajnal’s good work in the middle.
Ulreich blocked Shechter’s effort in the 68th, before Boulahrouz scored against the run of play with Stuttgart’s third shot on goal.
Kaiserslautern should have scored shortly afterward, when Shechter passed to Konstantinos Fortounis who opted to pass back to the Israeli instead of shooting and the chance was lost.
Fans began whistling as more mistakes crept into the home side’s play, before Shechter missed another good chance in injury time.
“The more effective team won,” Kaiserslautern coach Marco Kurz said. “We’re missing just a little bit of luck at the crucial moments.”