A solid performance at the AOK Stadion saw the Wolves eventually make light work of their fourth-tier opponents, with a Joao Victor brace and further goals from Yannick Gerhardt and Josuha Guilavogui firing VfL to victory in their first competitive match of the season.
Head coach Oliver Glasner had promised to “take the game very seriously” in his pre-match presser, and, despite resting some of the VfL stars who had been involved in international action last weekend – namely Koen Casteels, Josip Brekalo and Xaver Schlager, who nevertheless occupied a spot on the bench – his strong starting line-up confirmed that claim. Seven players retained their place in the side that had defeated 1. FC Magdeburg 4-1 in a friendly, with Pavao Pervan, Paulo Otavio, Renato Steffen and Wout Weghorst all coming in, and Maxence Lacroix making his first competitive start. Absent from the squad altogether were the injured quartet of Jerome Roussillon, Kevin Mbabu, Ignacio Camacho and William.
The Wolves attacked from the outset, with Victor missing a chance from right in front of goal when it seemed easier to score. In the 9th minute, however, the fourth-division underdogs took a surprise lead, Darryl Geurts slotting home a penalty kick after a foul in the box by Otavio on Arlind Shoshi.
The Wolves responded strongly, and Steffen was unlucky not to equalise after beating the offside trap, but Richter in the Fürstenwalde net did just enough to put off the Swiss speedster. Shortly afterwards, Gerhardt struck the bar with the goalkeeper beaten.
The pressure finally told in the 23rd minute, when Richter could only parry a Maximilian Arnold effort, and Victor was on hand to stroke the ball into the net for VfL’s equaliser. Six minutes later, the Brazilian grabbed his second of the afternoon, finishing off Admir Mehmedi’s low cross from point-blank range.
Cementing the win
The second half continued in a similar vein, with the Green-and-Whites completely dominating possession and Fürstenwalde attempting to hit on the break whenever they could. Weghorst, Gerhardt, and Steffen all went close, before Otavio found Gerhardt in space, and the lively midfield man rounded Richter to score.
The Wolves completed a satisfactory day at the office in the 77th minute, captain Guilavogui steering a cushioned header into the net from a Gerhardt corner. Subsequently, substitutes Daniel Ginczek and Bartosz Bialek – also making his competitive debut for the club – both threatened to get their names on the board, but the score would remain at 4-1.
FSV Union Fürstenwalde: Richter – Wunderlich (Hempel 46’), Weiss, Mares, Michel – Kanther (Martynets 46’), Ciapa (Turci 64’), Putze, Geurts, Stagge (Atici 64’) – Shoshi
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Klaus, Lacroix, Guilavogui, Paulo Otavio (Horn 79’) – Gerhardt, Arnold (Schlager 62’), Steffen (Marmoush 62’), Mehmedi (Bialek 74’), Joao Victor – Weghorst (Ginczek 62’)
Goals: 0-1 Geurts (9’ pen), 1-1 Victor (23’), 1-2 Victor (29’), 1-3 Gerhardt (60’), 1-4 Guilavogui (77’)
Yellow cards: - / Otavio
Referee: Robert Schröder (Hannover)