bundesliga

Wout Weghorst helps Wolfsburg stay unbeaten after late penalty drama against Hoffenheim

Wout Weghorst scored and missed a penalty while Koen Casteels saved Munas Dabbur's injury-time spot-kick as Wolfsburg extended their run as one of two unbeaten teams left in this season's Bundesliga to seven matches courtesy of a 2-1 home win over Hoffenheim.

Wolfsburg 2-1 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Steffen (5'), 2-0 Weghorst (26'), 2-1 Adamyan (87')

Hoffenheim were on the back-foot from the outset as Kevin Vogt was forced to clear a fourth-minute strike from Josip Brekalo off the line following a superb pass from the returning Maximilian Arnold. Perhaps experiencing something of a European hangover after their 5-0 drubbing of Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Hoffenheim didn't heed the warning and fell behind 60 seconds later. Brekalo found Maximilian Philipp, who sent Renato Steffen in behind the visiting defence and the Switzerland international made no mistake with his finish. The goal stood following a VAR review, with Weghorst swiping at air rather than the ball at the end of Wolfsburg's next promoting foray. The Dutchman made his next chance count, though, slamming in from Steffen after his initial effort had been blocked by Kevin Akpoguma. Hoffenheim's best route back in to the contest fell late in the half to Ishak Belfodil, but his low effort didn't match his powerful run and bounced agonisingly wide of the far post.

Hoffenheim showed much more purpose in the second half, whilst continuing to concede chances at the other end. After Florian Grillitsch glanced Sebastian Rudy's inviting cross wide of Casteels' goal, Brekalo fired straight at Oliver Baumann. Jerome Roussillon and Arnold combined from a set-piece to test the Hoffenheim goalkeeper once again, before Christoph Baumgartner found the gloves of Casteels following a mistake by Steffen. Mijat Gacinovic shot wide from a tight angle in an entertaining finale in which Weghorst really ought to have put the contest to bed. Xaver Schlager earned a penalty after going to ground in the box under Vogt's last-ditch challenge, but Wolfsburg's top scorer for two seasons running slammed his spot-kick wide. After Hoffenheim substitute Sargis Adamyan reduced the arrears with three minutes of normal time remaining, there was still time for one last piece of drama. Baumann came up for a last-minute corner, only to be unceremoniously brought to ground in the area. The referee pointed to the spot, but Casteels dived full stretch to push Dabbur's penalty around the post and leave the visitors winless in five league matches since their 4-1 win over defending champions Bayern Munich on Matchday 2.

Match stats

  • Wolfsburg were the last remaining unbeaten team in last's season Bundesliga. The Wolves went nine matches, before losing 3-0 to Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 10.
  • Along with RB Leipzig, Oliver Glasner's side have the joint-meanest defence after seven games with four goals conceded.
  • Weghorst netted his 36th Bundesliga goal to move level fifth with fellow Dutchman Bas Dost - now of Eintracht Frankfurt - in the Wolfsburg scoring charts.
  • Steffen scored and assisted a goal in the same match for the first time in his Bundesliga career. His opener was his seventh Bundesliga goal of the calendar year.
  • Hoffenheim's Tottenham Hotspur-owned left-back Ryan Sessegnon and Dutch defender Melayro Bogarde made their full Bundesliga debuts.
  • Weghorst missed the first penalty of the season, ending a run of 35 successful penalty attempts in the Bundesliga dating back to Milot Rashica's miscued effort against Paderborn on 13 June 2020.

Watch: Weghorst: "A crazy end!"

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon - Schlager (Pongracic 90'), Arnold - Steffen (Victor 71'), Philipp (Mehmedi 62'), Brekalo (Gerhardt 71') - Weghorst
Unused subs: Pervan, Mbabu, Malli, Bialek, Marmoush
Out: Bruma (thigh), Ginczek (muscular), Guilavogui (thigh), Otavio (hamstring), William (match fitness)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Hoffenheim: Baumann - Bogarde (Klauss 86'), Vogt (c), Akpoguma - Rudy, Grillitsch (Adamyan 59'), Samassekou (Bebou 74'), Sessegnon - Baumgartner - Dabbur, Belfodil (Gacinovic 59')
Unused subs: Pentke, Brenet, Nordtveit, Adams, John
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Bruun Larsen (not included), Geiger (hand), Hübner (ankle), Posch (ankle), Skov (suspended), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß