First Team

Crucial win

VfL Wolfsburg defeated FC Salzburg 2-1 to record their first win in this season’s Champions League.

The Wolves are very much back on track in the Champions League after seeing off group leaders FC Salzburg 2-1 on Tuesday evening. This was the first win for the Green-and-Whites in four group matches. Ridle Baku (3’) and Lukas Nmecha (60’) got the goals for new head coach Florian Kohfeldt’s side, with Maximilian Wöber (30’) equalising in between as 16,112 fans were on hand at the Volkswagen Arena to cheer the Wolves on to victory. VfL turn their attentions back to the Bundesliga this Saturday (6 November, kick-off at 15:30 CET), with their second match in four days pitting them at home to FC Augsburg.


1-0 Baku (3’): Salzburg fire the first warning shot but VfL come up with the perfect answer. Paulo Otavio feeds Yannick Gerhardt on the left wing to launch a quick counter-attack. The German midfielder crosses to the far post where Baku races in to slot it home from five metres out!

1-1 Wöber (30’): Set pieces are something of a Salzburg speciality – and yet this goal could and should have been prevented. Wöber floats a direct free-kick over the wall and into the back of the net from 25 metres.

2-1 L. Nmecha (60’): What a strike! Nmecha brings down a long ball from Maximilian Arnold in the box and takes everyone by surprise by hammering it home into the roof of the net. A piece of individual brilliance!

What the coaches said:

Florian Kohfeldt: “It was a very, very intensive match from both teams. The fact that we won it is very important for the group table and by the same token, for our confidence levels. And so while I’m absolutely delighted, we can’t ignore the fact that after working really hard to carve out a 1-0 lead, we didn’t play well. The match was on a knife-edge but we ended up getting a win over a very strong opponent. The intensity and passion that we showed coupled with our defending were all really good, and it gives us something to build on.”

Matthias Jaissle: “Up until they took the lead we weren’t playing well, and Wolfsburg were extremely efficient and made us pay for it. Our approach before the game was to snuff out any of their chances and obviously against a top team like them, you can’t do that for 90 minutes solid. The fact that just before we went 1-0 down we had a huge chance to take the lead ourselves ended up being a decisive moment in the match. Despite all that, we put in a really gutsy performance, and if we carry on playing like that in the Champions League, we’ll be on the right track.“

Line-ups and stats

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Lacroix, Guilavogui, Brooks – Baku, Vranckx (82‘ Mbabu), Arnold, Otavio (73’ Steffen), L. Nmecha, Weghorst (63’ Lukebakio), Gerhardt (73’ Roussillon)

Subs: Pervan (GK), van de Ven, F. Nmecha, Philipp, Ginczek

FC Salzburg: Köhn – Kristensen, Onguene (77‘ Solet), Wöber, Ulmer – Camara (89‘ Kjaergaard), Seiwald, Sucic (77‘ Adamu), Aaronson – Okafor, Adeyemi (63‘ Sesko)

Subs: Mantl (GK), Walke (GK), Bernardo, Guindo, Ludewig, Bernede, Diambou

Goals: 1-0 Baku (3‘), 1-1 Wöber (30‘), 2-1 L. Nmecha (60‘)

Yellow crads: Weghorst, Brooks, L. Nmecha / Ulmer

Referee: Artur Soares Dias (Portugal)

Attendance: 16,112 at Volkswagen Arena