VfL Wolfsburg won 3-0 in their home match against Union Berlin on Saturday afternoon, keeping them on course for a place in the Champions League next season. Josip Brekalo was the match-winner with all three goals as the Wolves maintained third place with 60 points now on the board.
Brekalo for Gerhardt
VfL head coach Oliver Glasner made one change to his side from the 2-0 defeat against Borussia Dortmund, with Brekalo replacing Yannick Gerhardt. And it was the Croatia international who put VfL in front after 11 minutes, finishing off a great counter-attack and a splendid pass from Ridle Baku with a shot into the right corner.
The Wolves dominated proceedings in the first half, having more possession and laying siege to the Union Berlin goal. Maximilian Philipp had a big opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 26th minute but his shot from the edge of the six-yard box was too central, allowing goalkeeper Andreas Luthe to make a smart reflex stop. Consequently, Glasner’s men went in at the break with a narrow but deserved one-goal lead.
The visitors made a substitution at half-time, bringing on Keita Endo for Marcus Ingvartsen, but Wolfsburg came out unchanged – and there was no change in the quality of their performance either. Union did show more attacking intent in the second half, but were frustrated by the VfL defence. A Maximilian Arnold free-kick almost provided the second Wolves goal on the hour mark, his curling effort going over the wall but also just over the crossbar. However, just three minutes later the Green-Whites were celebrating, and again it was thanks to Brekalo. His shot from the edge of the area out was deflected by ex-Wolfsburg player Christian Gentner and looped over Luthe into the visitors’ goal to make it 2-0.
Neither side took their foot off the gas in the final 15 minutes, with plenty of tackles flying in. Weghorst had a chance to get his name on the scoresheet but his powerful shot lacked accuracy (81’), and instead it was left Brekalo to complete the scoring, and his hat-trick, in the 89th minute.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu (70’ Gerhardt), Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio (90’ Roussillon) – Schlager, Arnold, Baku, Philipp (82’ Guilavogui), Brekalo (90‘ Victor) – Weghorst
FC Union Berlin: Luthe – Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck (69’ Bülter) –Trimmel (75’ Ryerson), Griesbeck, Lenz (69‘ Gießelmann), Gentner, Ingvartsen (46‘ Endo) – Pohjanpalo, Musa (69‘ Kruse)
Goals: 1-0 Brekalo (12‘), 2-0 Brekalo (63‘), 3-0 Brekalo (89‘)
Yellow cards: Mbabu / -
Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)