BERLIN, May 17 (Reuters) - VfL Wolfsburg boosted their chances of Bundesliga football next season with a 3-1 victory over second division Holstein Kiel on Thursday in their relegation/promotion playoff first leg.
The 2009 Bundesliga champions, who won the German Cup in 2015, finished 16th in the top flight on the last day of the regular season to force a two-legged playoff with Kiel, third in the second division.
Holstein went into the game with the second division’s best offence and a notable 71 goals in 34 matches but fell a goal down after 13 minutes when Divock Origi completed a swift move for the hosts.
Holstein levelled but the Wolves, who had to survive a relegation playoff last season, went back in front with Josip Brekalo’s 18-metre shot six minutes later.
Belgian forward Origi then turned provider, powering into the box and sending Yunus Malli through for their third goal in the 56th minute and Holstein missed several good chances to cut the deficit.
Wolfsburg travel to Kiel on Monday for the return leg. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)