Bundesliga: "ice cold" Wolves sniff Europe

VfL Wolfsburg has continued its impressive winning streak at TSG Hoffenheim and is going into the long World Cup break with eight unbeaten league games in a row.

After the final whistle, Niko Kovac gave everyone on the bench a high five and gave the winning goal scorer Ridle Baku a tender hug, Maximilian Arnold let the fans who had traveled with him celebrate his 300th game in the Lower Saxony jersey: At VfL Wolfsburg, the joy after the arduous 2nd : 1 (1: 1) at the weakening TSG Hoffenheim and the associated expansion of the unbeaten series to eight point games in a row felt everywhere.

“We tried to continue where we left off. To be honest, we didn’t quite manage that today,” said sports director Marcel Schäfer after the somewhat fortunate fourth league win in a row: “But we held on and struck ice cold.”

The Lower Saxony did this in the form of Baku (56th). There was also an own goal by Hoffenheim’s Ozan Kabak (45+4). “If you look at the last few weeks, it’s a basis on which we can build,” said Schäfer before the long World Cup break.

Frustration prevailed at TSG, it was the third bankruptcy in a row. Hoffenheim has only won one of the last nine league games (at Schalke 04). The goal of Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner (42nd) didn’t change that.

The only 18,014 spectators in Sinsheim saw the first good chance for the hosts in the 4th minute. Baumgartner failed with a header at Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels, who was under contract with TSG between 2011 and 2015.

Hoffenheim’s opening goal shouldn’t have counted

The hosts remained the more active team after this scene. The guests around captain Arnold, who was the first VfL professional to break the 300 Bundesliga game mark, had to make a substitution in the 12th minute. Mattias Svanberg replaced the injured Omar Marmoush. In the 23rd minute it was again the strong Casteels who saved against Georginio Rutter.

In the last minutes of the first half things got really intense. First, Svanberg had the lead for VfL on the foot (40th). Then Baumgartner hit his head. The trio of referees led by Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim) played their part in the goal. There shouldn’t have been a corner for Hoffenheim before the goal. In injury time of the first half it was Kabak who unluckily steered the ball into his own goal.

At the beginning of the second half, Hoffenheim pressed for the lead again. However, the goal was marked by Baku, who successfully completed a VfL counterattack. After falling behind, TSG ran up and, despite the best chances, did not put the ball in the goal.

Hoffenheim missed the best chances against Wolfsburg

At the beginning of the second half, Hoffenheim increased the number of strokes. Resuming leadership seemed only a matter of time. However, the goal was marked by Baku, who successfully completed a VfL counterattack.

After falling behind, TSG ran up. Rutter (59′), Baumgartner (61′) and Kabak (64′) didn’t put the ball in the goal despite the best chances.

TSG Hoffenheim – VfL Wolfsburg: The voices

Andre Breitenreiter (TSG Hoffenheim coach): “We were clearly dominant. But the difference was a team running versus a team that wasn’t running. We lacked efficiency.”

Niko Kovac (VfL Wolfsburg coach): “It was a lucky win. But the team showed great will for 90, 95 minutes. After a difficult start to the season, we got better and better.”

TSG Hoffenheim – VfL Wolfsburg: The line-ups

Hoffenheim: Baumann – Akpoguma, Vogt, Kabak – Geiger (90.+3 Quarshie), Stiller – Skov (82. Kaderabek), Angelino – Kramaric (73. Bruun Larsen) – Rutter (73. Asllani), Baumgartner.

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Fischer (89th Roussillon), Bornauw, van de Ven, Paulo Otavio – Arnold – Nmecha (90th Waldschmidt), Gerhardt (65th Guilavogui) – Baku, Kaminski (65th Philipp) – Marmoush (12th Svanberg).

TSG Hoffenheim – VfL Wolfsburg: The data of the game

Gates: 1: 0 Baumgartner (42nd), 1: 1 Kabak (45th + 4 own goals), 1: 2 Baku (56th)

Yellow cards: – Bornauw (3), Fischer, van de Ven (3)

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