Status: 04/01/2023 5:32 p.m
Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg showed morale against FC Augsburg on Saturday, but suffered an unexpected setback in the fight for participation in the European Cup. The Lower Saxony did not go beyond a 2: 2 (0: 2).
Instead of climbing to sixth place in the table as hoped, coach Niko Kovac’s team slipped to ninth place because their rivals Mainz and Leverkusen passed and now each have a two-point lead. VfL have themselves to blame for the loss of points, because although they were clearly the game-determining team, they missed numerous big chances.
In a week’s time on Sunday, Wolfsburg will be visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach. Then Ridle Baku and Patrick Wimmer will miss because of their fifth yellow card.
Unlucky Arnold: Own goal and missed penalty
The first 20 minutes of his Maximilian Arnold would probably like to delete his 310th Bundesliga appearance for the “Wolves” from his career record: first the VfL captain sunk an Augsburg corner kick with his head into his own goal (2nd), then he threw a penalty kick over the bar ( 20.). “I’ve had worse games, but I’ve never experienced anything like that. I would have loved to have done without it,” the unlucky fellow told NDR after the game.
Despite these early setbacks, the Lower Saxony dominated the game and created chance after chance: Yannick Gerhardt headed into the outside of the post (24′), Jakub Kaminski shot over the goal (28′). The equalizer seemed only a matter of time, instead the hosts conceded the 0:2. After winning the ball, Arne Engels served Mergim Berisha in midfield, the two-time German national player overcame Koen Casteels for the second time (32nd).
From Wolfsburg’s point of view, the possible goal before the break didn’t materialize either, because Arnold missed the goal from a distance (39′) and Wimmer, who was completely free, headed wide from five meters (44′).
VfL runs in vain
After the restart it stayed the same: Wolfsburg stormed, but missed the chances. Gerhardt failed from a tight angle (48′), Omar Marmoush only hit the side netting (56′). Shortly thereafter, Kovac put everything on one card and brought on Jonas Wind, Kevin Paredes and Luca Waldschmidt – VfL became even more offensive.
But the Augsburgers almost closed the sack with their first attack in the second half. Irvin Cardona ran alone towards Casteels, but the VfL keeper couldn’t be ambushed (74′). So the home side could continue to hope to be able to turn things around.
Felix Nmecha scores in stoppage time
Hope grew when Waldschmidt scored to make it 2-1 after Arnold’s free kick (85′). And there were other opportunities: Wind fired another free-kick from Arnold just wide of the post (89′), Micky van de Ven completely missed a direct acceptance (90’+3′).
When hardly anyone was expecting it, Felix Nmecha headed the equalizer (90+5). Directly after the restart, referee Martin Petersen blew the whistle – and Wolfsburg could at least be happy about winning a point.
Matchday 26, April 1st, 2023, 3:30 p.m