08.12.2018
First Team

Wolves pegged back by Hoffenheim

VfL Wolfsburg extended their unbeaten run to three Bundesliga games on Saturday with a 2-2 draw at home to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 14.

After going behind to an early goal from Ishak Belfodil, the Wolves showed great character to fight back and take the lead before half-time, as an own goal from Hoffenheim defender Ermin Bicakcic and a powerful strike from Daniel Ginczek turned the game on its head. Despite a disciplined performance in the second half, Bruno Labbadia's men ultimately had to settle for a draw following Andrej Kramaric's equaliser.

Guilavogui returns, Uduokhai and Verhaegh start

Labbadia made two enforced changes in defence, with John Anthony Brooks and William both suspended after each received their fifth yellow card of the season last week. Felix Uduokhai came in at centre-back, while Paul Verhaegh made his first appearance of the campaign at right-back. Team captain Josuha Guilavogui returned to the starting line-up for the first time since sustaining a knee injury on Matchday 1.

Early setback, then a fight back

The Wolves looked composed in the initial exchanges but were caught out by a swift Hoffenheim counter-attack in the fourth minute when Belfodil volleyed in Kramaric's cross at the back post. Unfazed, the Green-Whites soon settled into their rhythm and were rewarded for their efforts just before the half-hour mark when Bicakcic headed Ginczek's cross from the right into his own net. VfL quickly took advantage of a stunned Hoffenheim side, adding a second goal moments later when Admir Mehmedi threaded a clever pass through to Ginczek, who lashed an unstoppable shot high into the net.

Hoffenheim pull level

Hoffenheim began the second half strongly in a bid to find an equaliser, forcing VfL onto the back foot early on. The Wolves' well-drilled backline kept them at arm's length for long spells, restricting the visitors to speculative shots from long range. However, Kramaric levelled the score in the 71st minute, his goal given after referee Felix Zwayer checked with VAR after initially ruling it out for offside. At the other end of the pitch, Yannick Gerhardt twice threatened following surging runs from midfield but was unable to find the target, while substitute Renato Steffen fired over from the edge of the box in the closing stages to leave VfL with a hard-earned point.

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Knoche, Uduokhai, Roussillon – Gerhardt, Guilavogui, Arnold – Ginczek (Steffen 84'), Weghorst, Mehmedi (Brekalo 66')

TSG Hoffenheim: Baumann – Bicakcic, Vogt (Szalai 46'), Hübner – Kaderabek, Zuber (Nelson 60'), Schulz – Demirbay (Grillitsch 43'), Kramaric – Belfodil, Joelinton

Goals: Belfodil (4'), Bicakcic (o.g. 28'), Ginczek (31'), Kramaric (71')

Yellow cards: Uduokhai / Grillitsch, Belfodil

Attendance: 20,600

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin)

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