VfL Wolfsburg drew 2-2 against FC Augsburg in a remarkable encounter on Matchday 26 of the Bundesliga season. After an early own goal from Maximilian Arnold, who also missed a penalty in the 22nd minute, it looked for long periods as if the Wolves would leave empty-handed – even more so after Mergim Berisha doubled the lead for the clinical hosts before half-time. Despite creating numerous chances, the Green-and-Whites couldn’t find a way back into the game – until the 84th minute, that is. Luca Waldschmidt reduced the deficit, and as Niko Kovac’s men threw everything forward, Felix Nmecha netted the equaliser in the sixth minute of stoppage time to the delight of the travelling supporters.
- 0-1 Arnold (2’ o.g.): What’s happened there? Without pressure, Arnold heads the ball from the near post into the far corner, leaving his goalkeeper Koen Casteels helpless.
- 0-2 Berisha (32’): Arne Engels wins the ball in midfield and threads it through to Berisha, who buries the ball in the bottom-right corner with a low finish.
- 1-2 Waldschmidt (84’): Back in it late on! Arnold hits a free-kick from midway in the Augsburg half into the penalty area and substitute Waldschmidt bundles it in. The linesman raises his flag, but the video assistant reverses the on-field decision.
- 2-2 F. Nmecha (90’+6): At the death! Kevin Paredes sends a final cross in from the left. Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz comes out but misses the ball…and Nmecha gobbles up the opportunity, nodding in from close range.
Niko Kovac: “This was a match that didn’t start well for us. We conceded a goal from a corner that shouldn’t have been given, and to make matters worse it was an own goal. The second shot, where we made a mistake, also resulted in a goal against us. We still created a lot of chances in the first half and then went in at half-time wondering how we were 2-0 down. To win games like this we have to be clinical and take our chances. It’s a moral victory because we came back from 2-0 down. The team showed strong character and believed in themselves, although I’m not entirely happy about this result, as we could’ve got more.”
Enrico Maaßen: “That was an extremely intense game. We were very efficient in the first half. We did let Wolfsburg have one or two big chances, but still went in at half-time with a 2-0 lead. The two late goals are very annoying; we have to deal with them differently. We lacked stability in the decisive moments. For us to get three points we just have to be clean and clear in all departments. It doesn’t feel great to get a point – we’re not satisfied with the result. Nevertheless, it’s one more point, which helps us.”
Line-ups and stats
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku (59‘ Paredes), Lacroix, van de Ven, Otavio – Arnold, Svanberg (46’ F. Nmecha), Gerhardt (59’ Wind), Wimmer (76‘ Cozza), Kaminski – Marmoush (66’ Waldschmidt)
Subs: Pervan (GK), Bornauw, Guilavogui, Pejcinovic
FC Augsburg: Gikiewicz – Gumny, M. Bauer, Gouweleeuw (70‘ Veiga), Iago – Rexhbecaj, Engels (90‘ Baumgartlinger), Maier, Vargas (46‘ Pedersen) – Berisha (70‘ Cardona), Beljo (88’ Jensen)
Subs: Koubek (GK), Caligiuri, Bazee, Mbuku
Goals: 0-1 Arnold (2‘/ own goal), 0-2 Berisha (32’), 1-2 Waldschmidt (84’), 2-2 Nmecha (90’+6)
Yellow cards: Baku, Wimmer, Paredes / Pedersen, Maier
Referee: Martin Petersen (Filderstadt)
Attendance: 22,107 Zuschauende at Volkswagen Arena