bundesliga

Wout Weghorst brace not enough for Wolfsburg as Freiburg fight back for draw

UEFA Europa League-chasing Wolfsburg and Freiburg shared four goals at the Volkswagen Arena, with Wout Weghorst's brace cancelled out by strikes from Lucas Höler and Roland Sallai.

Wolfsburg 2-2 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 Weghorst (14'), 2-0 Weghorst (pen. 27'), 2-1 Höler (43'), 2-2 Sallai (46')

Hoffenheim's defeat to Leipzig on Friday had extended an olive branch to Freiburg in the pursuit of Europa League football next season, and they looked keen to grab it with both hands. The early exchanges belonged to the guests, who pressed Wolfsburg inside their own half, but when the hosts broke for the first time, Renato Steffen supplied an assist for Weghorst to put them in front. Their second opportunity also resulted in a goal, although Daniel Ginczek was offside when he turned in a rebound after Weghorst headed against the crossbar. VAR was consulted to confirm the offside, but it also revealed a foul on Weghorst, who was consequently able to add his second from the penalty spot. VAR abruptly ended Ginczek's celebrations for a second time when he headed in off his own arm and, despite having had the ball in the back of the net four times inside the first half an hour, Wolfsburg's lead was cut to just one goal when Höler headed in a Vincenzo Grifo cross and gave the guests some unexpected hope just before the break.

Less than 30 seconds into the second half, the comeback was complete. Höler's shot was blocked by Koen Casteels, but the ball sat up for Sallai to head towards goal with John Brooks unable to clear it off the line as it looped in over him. Grifo continued to wreak havoc in the Wolfsburg area, but twice saw attempts to put the guests in front blocked as Christian Streich's men started to pose the greater threat. Nils Petersen came off the bench and very nearly headed in his 25th career super-sub goal, while Yannick Gerhardt gave Alexander Schwolow a rare test at the other end. It could have gone either way in the final ten minutes of an entertaining, open game, but there were no further goals, leaving both sides still right in the thick of the hunt for European football next season, with three games to go.

Match stats

  • Weghorst has scored more than once in a single game for the fifth time in the Bundesliga, having last struck a hat-trick on Matchday 22.
  • The Dutch forward has converted eight out of eight penalties in the Bundesliga.
  • Three of Sallai's four Bundesliga goals have been headers, while he opened his Freiburg account against the Wolves last season.
  • Wolfsburg have lost only two of their last 12 Bundesliga games and are on course to return to European competition for the first time in five years.
  • Freiburg coach Streich is undefeated in four games against the Wolves. Since being appointed in 2011, he has three wins in Wolfsburg, making it his favourite away day.

Watch: Freiburg's Philipp Lienhart doffs his hat to coach Christian Streich

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon - Steffen (Klaus 55'), Schlager (Gerhardt 66'), Arnold, Brekalo (Joao Victor 55') – Weghorst, Ginczek (Marmoush 84')
Unused subs: Pervan, Guilavogui, Knoche, Tisserand,  Justvan
Out: Camacho (ankle), Mehmedi (Achilles tendon), Otavio (ankle), William (knee)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Freiburg: Schwolow - Schmid, Lienhart, Heintz, Günter (c) (Itter 77')- Sallai (Kwon 63'), Koch (Frantz 77'), Höfler, Grifo (Haberer 90+1') - Waldschmidt (Petersen 63'), Höler
Unused subs: Flekken, Schlotterbeck, Abrashi, Tempelmann
Out: Gulde (muscular), Ravet (muscular)
Coach: Christian Streich