A week after securing their first three-pointer of the season, another defeat for VfB Stuttgart proved to be the final straw for coach Tayfun Korkut. In a game effectively decided by two late goals in either half, it was Hannover's turn to earn their first win of the campaign.
After the 1:4 hammering in Frankfurt, Hannover coach André Breitenreiter made three changes to his starting eleven. Iver Fossum, and Oliver Sorg, Julian Korb and Iver Fossum all made way for Bobby Wood, Takuma Asano and Josip Elez. The inclusion of United States international Wood would prove to be the pivotal selection.
Keeping his changes to a minimum, both of Stuttgart's changes were enforced. With Dennis Aogo and Anastasios Donis out of the squad, VfB Trainer Korkut brought back Holger Badstuber and Gonzalo Castro.
Hannover set the pace
The home side were quick to set the pace, and there were some decent early chances. Wood saw a sixth minute effort cleared by Timo Baumgartl, and there was a 16th minute shot from Swiss international Pirmin Schwegler.
Mario Gómez missed narrowly for the visitors and Niclas Füllkrug tested Stuttgart 'keeper Ron-Robert Zieler at the other end, but it was defender Wood who broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark. Meeting a cross from Chilean winger Miiko Albornoz, the American found the far corner with a well-placed header.
Stuttgart had no response, and Breitenreiter's side doubled their lead just before the break - a minute into additional time. It was almost a carbon copy of the first goal: another Albornoz cross, with Wood creating space for himself behind Benjamin Pavard to head home from just outside the six-yard box.
Stuttgart's false dawn
Korkut decided to roll the dice at the start of the second half, swapping out Badstuber and Castro for the more attack-minded pairing of Erik Thommy and Nicolas González. Five minutes in, it seemed to pay off. Thommy's pass sliced through the Hannover defence, and Gómez, sporting a bangade on his head after an earlier clash, slipped the ball past H96 'keeper Michael Esser.
Hope had been rekindled for the Swabians, and they came within a whisker of drawing level just two minutes later when a González header struck the post.
Out of nowhere, the game sparked into life. Zieler made a save from Füllkrug, and Wood had another effort. Daniel Didavi then had two opportunities within the space of two minutes for Korkut's side, and both Gómez and Thommy also had sightings of the Hannover goal.
The knockout strike
With fifteen minutes remainaing, another Wood header was on target, but this time Zieler got enough behind it to keep it out. They had out up one hell of a fight, but Stuttgart soon began to fade.
Hannover were well-drilled, and made sure of all three points a minute into stoppage time. Sub Genki Haraguchi made his way to the byline and swung in a dangerous cross, and midfielder Ihlas Bebou tucked the ball between Zieler's legs to quell any hopes for a Stuttgart equaliser.
The day after the defeat, it was announced that Tayfun Korkut's contract had come to an end. Despite last season's excellent eighth-place finish, the board had run out of patience with the Turkish coach. In his place stepped former VfB and Germany defender Andreas Hinkel.
Result: Hannover 96 3 (Wood 30., 45.+1., Bebou 90.+1.) VfB Stuttgart 1 (Gómez 50.)