Wolfsburg take it but Birds not disgraced

MOROKA Swallows earned loads of respect despite losing 2-1 to Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg in their Volkswagen Challenge Trophy showdown - played at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Stadium last night.

The Birds started slowly but finished the match the stronger of the two sides and had the German champions holding on for dear life to their single goal advantage.

Though the Germans showed plenty of poise, Swallows refused to throw in the towel in Port Elizabeth.

Wolfsburg started off like the champions they are and swamped the Birds' goal-mouth, going ahead in the eighth minute through Sascha Riether.

Wolfsburg doubled their lead on 17 minutes when star striker Edin Dzeko capitalised after Birds defender Ashraf Hendricks slipped trying to clear the ball.

Their second goal seemed to lull Wolfsburg into a false sense of security as Swallows pulled one back through Lefa Tsutsulupa - two minutes after the restart.

But it was Wolfsburg who ended up the victors in an entertaining match.

Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh kept his promise of giving all 20 players a run, making nine changes at halftime. - Sapa