Holden and Bolton Eke Out 1-0 Win

Stuart Holden (10) of the United States (USA) prepares to take a corner kick. The United States (USA) defeated Panama (PAN) 2-1 during a quarterfinal match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, on July 18, 2009. Photo via Newscom

Bolton and Wolverhampton’s most recent encounter failed to replicate the excitement of their last meeting, a 3-2 Bolton victory that produced four goals in the final thirty minutes. Today’s affair did manufacture some frenetic build-up play in the last fifteen minutes, but, as a whole, it was a dull match decided by one error – Ronald Zubar’s puzzling stoppage time backpass. The right back sent a casual pass to his keeper and failed the note the  presence of Bolton’s Daniel Sturridge.  The on-loan striker, who was making his debut, pounced on the backpass and scored the winner.

Bolton did have a few earlier opportunities to take the lead, and one of them was supplied by Stuart Holden, a seventh-minute cross that was wasted by Johan Elmander. Other than that cross, though, Holden didn’t create much offense for his squad.

He completed 70% of his passes but struggled to influence the match in the middle of the pitch.  Wolves’ 4-5-1 meant they had a spare man in midfield (Bolton used their usual 4-4-2), so when Holden moved up the middle, he ran into defensive stopper Karl Henry.

Notice how Holden didn’t attempt a single pass in Wolves’ half between the center circle and the penalty box.

by Guardian Chalkboards

The visitor’s strategy also influence Holden’s defensive stats. Since their attack shaded to the right flank (32% of their possession) instead of the left (20%), Holden ended up attempting all of his tackles on that flank. And while Wolves attempted more passes than Bolton (491 to 372), Holden only made one interception.

Gringos, were you able to watch the match? Were you surprised by Holden’s so-so outing?

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