VfL Wolfsburg failed to make it through to the last four of the DFB Cup, with Oliver Glasner’s men falling 2-0 on Wednesday evening away to RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals. The Wolves had a great chance to take an early lead but Wout Weghorst was unable to convert from the penalty spot (26’). In the second half, Leipzig turned the match in their favour with goals from Yussuf Poulsen (63’) and Hee Chan Hwang (88’).
For VfL, this was the first defeat in any competition after a run of ten matches unbeaten. The team will be hoping to start another streak in just three days’ time, when they travel to face TSG Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday 6 March (kick-off: 15.30 CET).
Weghorst fires penalty over the bar
The Wolves, who brought John Brooks into the starting line-up for Marin Pongracic, found themselves under early pressure. Fortunately for them, Koen Casteels was on hand to pull off a spectacular save in the 12th minute from Christopher Nkunku’s header. VfL then started to get into the match, with Xaver Schlager having a good effort from distance. That led to a corner which created a chance for Kevin Mbabu, and while he took too long on the ball, the Swiss defender ended up being brought down by Nkunku in the box.
The referee consulted VAR and eventually pointed to the spot, but Weghorst missed the chance to give his side the lead, slipping in his run-up and ballooning the ball over. A flowing move late on saw Renato Steffen foiled by the Leipzig keeper (45’), and the sides went into the break 0-0.
Two fast breaks, two goals
The second half got under way with the same level of intensity. Leipzig immediately created a pair of chances, first with Poulsen denied by Casteels stretching out a leg (52’), then as Mbabu put his body on the line to block a shot from Nkunku (53’). The Green-and-Whites needed to impose themselves on the match, but as soon as they managed to muster a chance, with the ball skidding across the opposition’s six-yard box, RB immediately launched a counter-attack to devastating effect. Poulsen dribbled his way into the area and fired home to make it 1-0, with help from a Maurice Lacroix deflection (63’).
VfL almost went two down in the blink of an eye, but again they had Casteels to thank as he kept an unmarked Dani Olmo at bay (65’). Glasner then made three substitutions to freshen up the attacking options and this almost paid dividends straight away, with Josip Brekalo finding the side netting after a fine piece of individual skill (78’). Leipzig maintained their grip on the second half, however, and another counter saw the Red Bulls double their lead through Hwang (88’).
That was the end of the scoring, and Wolves’ 113th DFB Cup match ended not in an eighth semi-final appearance, but instead in a 2-0 defeat.
RB Leipzig: Gulasci – Mukiele, Upamecano, Orban (46’ Haidara), Klostermann – Kampl, Adams – Kluivert (61‘ Sörloth), Olmo (80‘ Henrichs), Nkunku (84‘ Hwang) – Poulsen (80‘ Forsberg)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio – Arnold, Schlager (85’ Bialek) – Baku (71‘ Victor), Gerhardt (72‘ Philipp), Steffen (72‘ Brekalo) – Weghorst
Goals: 1-0 Poulsen (64‘), 2-0 Hwang (88‘)
Yellow cards: Kampl, Nkunku, Olmo / Otavio, Lacroix
Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)