VfL Wolfsburg suffered a bitterly disappointing defeat on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign, losing 2-1 to already-relegated Hertha BSC to miss out on a place in Europe next season. The Green-and-Whites made the perfect start when Jakub Kaminski fired them ahead after just two minutes, but Ibrahim Maza made it 1-1 ten minutes into the second half before Marco Richter completed the turnaround in the 68th minute. The Wolves dominated for large spells prior to Hertha’s second of the game and created numerous opportunities to add to Kaminski’s early effort, but their profligacy proved costly. VfL therefore missed out on a place in Europe next season after finishing the campaign in eighth spot.
The Wolves squad embark on their summer break on Sunday before returning to training on 10 July.
- 1-0 Kaminski (2’): The Wolves make the perfect start! Kaminski plays a neat one-two with Yannick Gerhardt, whose back-heel is collected by the 20-year-old. Pulling the trigger from deep inside the penalty area, Kaminski’s low shot beats Tjark Ernst and finds the far corner.
- 1-1 Maza (55’): Hertha restore parity from a counter-attack down the right-hand side. VfL are caught out at the back and the unmarked Maza prods home from close range.
- 1-2 Richter (68’): Richter isn’t closed down quickly enough and finds the right-hand corner from the edge of the area – heartbreak for the Wolves!
Niko Kovac: “The game should never have ended the way it did. We had to settle matters in the first half. We played really nice football and had huge chances – I’m thinking of the one from Jonas, the Guila effort that was cleared off the line and the attempts from Wimmer and Kuba – so we had enough opportunities to settle things in the first half. We didn’t play as well in the second half but still had a lot of good chances. Conceding twice ourselves is what frustrates me about the whole thing. When you’ve already scored at one end, you can’t concede twice at the other. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot today and deprived ourselves of our reward for the entire season. Everything was on a plate for us but we couldn’t get over the line. That’s why we’re so disappointed.”
Line-ups and stats
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku, Bornauw, Guilavogui, van de Ven – Arnold, F. Nmecha (45‘+2 Svanberg), Gerhardt (80‘ Pejcinovic), Wimmer (66‘ Waldschmidt), Kaminski (66‘ Paredes) – Wind (81‘ Marmoush)
Subs: Pervan (GK), Cozza, Fischer, Franjic
Hertha BSC: Ernst – Kenny, Klemens, Kempf, Plattenhardt (63‘ Pekarik) – Tousart, Serdar (46‘ Maza), Boetius, Niederlechner (71‘ Rölke), M. Richter (90‘+1 Eitschberger) – Ngankam (46‘ Scherhant)
Subs: Christensen (GK), Da Silva Kiala, Rogel, Stange
Goals: 1-0 Kaminski (2‘), 1-1 Maza (55‘), 1-2 Richter (68‘)
Yellow cards: Bornauw / Serdar, Kenny, Plattenhardt, Boetius, Richter
Referee: Benjamin Cortus (Nuremberg)
Attendance: 26,775 Zuschauende at Volkswagen Arena