Nicklas Bendtner emerges as Wolfsburg's unlikely hero in DFL-Supercup

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Nicklas Bendtner emerges as Wolfsburg's unlikely hero in DFL-Supercup
Nicklas Bendtner emerges as Wolfsburg's unlikely hero in DFL-Supercup

Because of course it was Nicklas Bendtner whose 89th-minute equalizer and game-clinching penalty felled Bayern Munich in Saturday's season-opening DFL-Supercup between last season's Bundesliga winners and Wolfsburg, holders of the DFB Pokal.

Of course, it was the much-maligned Lord Bendtner, so nicknamed, who once declared that he would soon be one of the best strikers in the world. After scoring just a lone goal for Wolfsburg last season, he somehow made the difference.

Naturally, it was the Dane with the piddling stat sheet and the towering self-regard who brought down one of Europe's foremost superpowers. His shrewd and impressive redirection of a Kevin De Bruyne cross – after de Bruyne had missed a fat chance earlier – beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from up close.

That Wolfsburg was still in the game at all was Bayern's own fault. After Arjen Robben scrambled home the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute on yet another dangerous Douglas Costa cross on his impressive debut, FC Hollywood lacked the urgency to get a second and lock up the game.

A practically immaculate series of penalty kicks – there was no extra time after the 1-1 tie – was blemished only by Xabi Alonso's failure from the spot. Wolfsburg goalie Koen Casteels managed to connect his trailing foot with the soft dink through the middle, making his a kind of bicycle kick save.

And then, on the final kick, Bendtner slammed his effort into the roof of the goal.

It's hard to tell how much stock to put into the traditional supercup curtain-raiser to the season, exactly. To a lot of minds, this game is really only an extension of the preseason. And if you're concerned for Bayern's upcoming campaign, you should probably know that that they lost this game three seasons in a row now, and it hasn't exactly stopped them from barreling through the competition the last two years.

But if Bayern won't worry on account of this game, Wolfsburg can take heart. The club has quietly assembled a world-class front line. In de Bruyne, Andre Schurrle, Ivan Perisic – if he stays – Bas Dost and the newly acquired Max Kruse, it has a corps of forwards that few teams can match, and that might enable Wolfsburg to put together a real title challenge, after finishing second last year, 10 points back of Bayern.

Oh, and they have Bendtner as well.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.

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