Admir Mehmedi scored early and Wout Weghorst added a second in stoppage time as VfL Wolfsburg overcame Hannover 96 in the DFB Cup second round. The home side pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half, but John Anthony Brooks and Marcel Tisserand excelled in central defence in front of the impressive Koen Casteels, limiting Hannover to few chances. Bruno Labbadia's side will look forward to a last-16 tie on 5/6 February 2019, but next on the agenda is the visit of Borussia Dortmund on Saturday (kick-off: 15:30CET).
Rexhbecaj and Mehmedi start out wide
Wolfsburg head coach Labbadia opted for two changes to the side that won 3-0 at Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday. Mehmedi and Elvis Rexhbecaj got the nod in the wide positions, with Renato Steffen and Josip Brekalo dropping to the bench.
Mehmedi opens the scoring
It might have been a meeting between two local rivals, but proceedings took a while to get going in Hannover. Hendrik Weydandt spurned the only early chance, snatching at his tenth-minute effort and allowing Casteels to claim. At the other end, the Wolves began to knock the ball about with increasing poise and went ahead in the 20th minute when Mehmedi capitalised on a defensive error to lash his finish high past Philipp Tschauner at the near post. The Swiss almost added a second soon afterwards from a similar position, but hit the side-netting. Chasing the game, Hannover mounted several attacks of their own prior to the break, but Genki Haraguchi and Takuma Asano wasted promising opportunities.
Wolves stand firm
The home side brought on Bobby Wood for Miiko Albornoz after the restart, but the introduction of a striker failed to bring additional forward momentum. In fact, it was the Wolves who enjoyed the best early chance of the second half, but Jérôme Roussillon sent his half-volley wide in the 56th minute. Haraguchi led the Hannover response, but spurned two efforts from distance – the first a wayward shot, the second a free-kick claimed high by Casteels. Weydandt nodded wide with the goal at his mercy soon after, but as the game opened up it was the visitors who threatened most. First, Tschauner was forced into evasive action to clear Roussillon's wicked low cross, but the goalkeeper could do nothing about Weghorst's close-range finish in injury time to rubberstamp the Wolves' ticket to the last 16.
Hannover 96: Tschauner – Wimmer, Anton, Albornoz (Wood 46') – Haraguchi, Fossum (Felipe 84'), Walace, Albornoz – Bebou, Asano (Muslija 57') – Weydandt
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – William, Brooks, Tisserand, Roussillon – Mehmedi (Steffen 57'; Knoche 87'), Arnold, Gerhardt, Rexhbecaj (Uduokhai 90+5') – Weghorst, Ginczek
Goals: Mehmedi (20'), Weghorst (90+3')
Yellow cards: Albornoz, Walace, Elez, Bebou / Steffen, Arnold
Referee: Benjamin Cortus (Röthenbach)