It proved just as tough a challenge as had been expected: In the DFB-Cup ‘Round of 16’, the Wolves had their work cut out for them against a determined 1. FC Nürnberg, but the Wolves eventually broke their hosts down in extra-time to win 2-0 and book a place in the quarter-finals. The goals for the Wolves were scored by Felix Uduokhai (96') and Daniel Didavi (118'). The games in the DFB-Cup quarter-finals will be played out on February 6th and 7th, 2018, with the draw to be made in the New Year.
Casteels misses out
The Wolves had their first shock to deal with even before kick-off, with goalkeeper Koen Casteels made unavailable by muscular problems in with his hip-flexors. The first-choice keeper was replaced by Max Grün between the posts. In comparison with the side that began in the 0-1 defeat in Cologne on Saturday, the VfL coach opted to make five changes: Marcel Tisserand, Felix Uduokhai, Maximilian Arnold, Paul-Georges Ntep and Nany Landry Dimata replaced Paul Verhaegh (not in the squad), Robin Knoche, Yannick Gerhardt, Divock Origi and Daniel Didavi (all bench) from the outset.
Dimata with the chance to open the scoring
It took some time before the Wolves found their way into the tie, as the hosts initially earned themselves a slight territorial advantage, with a determined display, and had the first sight of goal, when Enrico Valentini tried his luck from distance (3'). In the 29th minute, Löwen wasted an opportunity and shortly afterwards, the Wolves had some luck on their side, when Kevin Möhwald failed to hit the target from five meters out. With half-time looming, Dimata had the best chance to put the Green-Whites in front, but was ultimately denied by the Nuremberg keeper and the sides went into the break locked in stalemate.
Origi hits the post
Following a stuttering start to the second period, the hosts then had the best chance of the half on the hour-mark: Behrens deflected a Leibold shot goal-wards, but Tisserand got back at the last gasp to clear off the goal-line. The cup-fight was on: First Gomez fired against the crossbar from a tight angle (68'), whilst at the other end, Mikael Ishak failed to make a good chance count (70'). A well-played Malli pass through to substitute Divock Origi, opened up a chance for the striker, who saw his powerful shot beat the keeper but bounce back into play off the post (79'). In the closing phase, the Wolves penned their opponents back into their own half, but lacked precision with their passing and crossing. As a result, the game finished with the sides locked at 0-0, forcing the tie into extra-time.
Uduokhai breaks the deadlock
In extra-time, the Wolves continued to push with tempo and finally made their breakthrough: From a deftly delivered from by Didavi, Josuha Guilavogui flicked the ball on to the centre, where Uduokhai pounced to force the ball over the line from five meters out – 1-0 (96'). Subsequently, VfL shored up at the back and launched regular dangerous attacks on the Nürnberg goal. Following a miscued clearance, the ball then fell to the feet of Didavi, who drove the ball into the bottom right corner from ten meters out – the decider! At the end of a hard fought 120 minutes, the Green-Whites booked their place in the DFB-Cup quarter-finals.
1. FC Nürnberg: Bredlow – Valentini, Margreitter, Ewerton, Leibold – Löwen (82' Werner), Erras (106' Kammerbauer), Behrens – Salli (90'1 Gislason), Möhwald – Ishak (116' Teuchert)
VfL Wolfsburg: Grün – William, Uduokhai, Bruma, Tisserand – Guilavogui, Arnold – Dimata (103' Gerhardt), Malli (120' Jung), Ntep (65' Didavi) – Gomez (75' Origi)
Goals: 0-1 Uduokhai (96'), 0-2 Didavi (118')
Yellow cards: Behrens / Tisserand, Origi
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)