After a last-minute goal, Borussia Mönchengladbach is in the DFB Cup quarter-finals for the first time in three years and has dealt VfL Wolfsburg another setback.

Coach Gerardo Seoane’s team defeated Wolfsburg, who had improved compared to the recent past, 1-0 (0-0) after extra time. Manu Koné headed the three-time cup winners into the last eight in the 120th minute, thereby helping Borussia to generate additional revenue of almost two million euros.

Both teams didn’t offer anything spectacular in the regular season. Wolfsburg only became more courageous at the end of the first 90 minutes and Gladbach couldn’t find a way to counter the guests, who were defensively consistent this time. The game was evenly balanced for a long time and early on developed into a not particularly attractive cup fight. That was because Wolfsburg were much more toxic and committed than last time in the league. The guests’ performance was no comparison to the indisputable performance a good three weeks ago, when Wolfsburg lost 4-0.

Arnold returns

“You can always use a game like this to maneuver yourself in a different direction,” Wolfsburg coach Kovac said before the game. “It’s about us being good at it technically. Then we can also move things in the right direction artistically.”

His team, to which captain Maximilian Arnold had returned after back problems, complied with this request, stood very closely and gave Gladbach hardly any space. With a volley from distance, 2014 world champion Christoph Kramer had Gladbach’s best chance before the break on his return to the starting line-up after more than half a year in a competitive game (7th). Lower Saxony’s defensive bulwark didn’t allow much more. Even an early injury-related substitution did not upset the visitors’ defensive balance: Ridle Baku came on for the injured Rogerio after just 23 minutes.

The tough struggle on the pitch continued after the break. Wolfsburg did little on offense and Borussia lacked the esprit to crack Lower Saxony’s defense for a long time.

Wind forgives in stoppage time

Only when Gladbach took a riskier route to the top at the end of regular time did Wolfsburg also become more dangerous on some counterattacks. Jonas Wind missed the guests’ best chances in stoppage time. First Gladbach keeper Moritz Nicolas saved brilliantly, shortly afterwards Wind shot past the left post somewhat carelessly. In the end, it was actually lucky for Borussia that it went into extra time.

Wolfsburg also looked significantly fresher in extra time and had better opportunities, such as Joakim Maehle’s huge chance (108th). But a counterattack was enough for Borussia to win when Koné headed into the goal from a cross from Florian Neuhaus.