The vfl wolfsburg is in the running for the first K.O.-heavy opponents of the caliber of inter milan, manchester united or ajax amsterdam in the second round of the europe league.
Although the bundesliga soccer team won its last match in the preliminary round against the french record champions AS saint-etienne 1-0 (0-0) on thursday evening, this was not enough to secure first place in group I, as top-ranked KAA gent from belgium also won its match against the ukrainian club leader PFK olexandrija. The winning goal for wolfsburg was scored by brazilian paulo otavio in the 52nd minute. Minute in his first mandatory game for the vfl.
"It’s a great feeling. I have been dreaming about this moment for four months," said the long-injured goalkeeper. The 25-year-old already looked ahead to monday’s draw in nyon. "We do not have a favorite opponent," he said. "We want to keep playing just as we are today. No matter against whom."
The consequence of missing out on a group win is that the vfl, as runners-up in the table, will be drawn either with one of the group winners from the europe league or with one of the four best third-placed teams from the champions league. Among the possible opponents are linzer ASK from austria, from which coach oliver glasner moved to wolfsburg in the summer and which is now coached by former vfl coach valerien ismael.
Since the progress itself before this game before 10.802 spectators, glasner wanted to see two things above all against saint-etienne: a committed reaction from the players to his massive criticism of the previous weekend, when he accused the team, among other things, of "virtually doing things by the book". And a recommendation from those professionals who have hardly played in recent months due to injury or sporting reasons.
Striker daniel ginczek, for example, started from the beginning for the first time after his back surgery and had two post headers in the 15. And 43. Minute bad luck. Austrian xaver schlager was again the driving force in midfield after healing a broken bone, and goalkeeper paulo otavio defended on the left in a four-man backline tested for the first time this season.
Wolfsburg showed the verve demanded by glasner and, compared to the harmless visitors, had a much greater share of the game and the better chances to score. But it was obvious to both teams that they were playing with two completely new formations in a game that had no sporting significance and lacked any automatism. The vfl has another home game in the bundesliga on sunday, when it hosts table-toppers monchengladbach.