After TSG Hoffenheim’s thrilling upset over Schalke on Tuesday there was high demand for the remaining four spiels in the 2013/14 DFB Pokal Round of 16 to keep the Pokal Magic going. Unexpectedly the magic came from an underachieving Ingolstadt side that, coming off a recent upset over 2. Bundesliga table toppers Köln, gave the hosts from Wolfsburg all they could handle in a 2-1 thriller in the Volkswagen-Audi derby.
The majority of the match told the story of a contest that Ingolstadt had for the taking as the team did well to hold off Wolfsburg’s pressure inside of their half of the pitch, keeping the hosts at bay while counterattacking when the opportunity presented itself. That opportunity was taken by their enigmatic forward Caiuby who used his pace to put a shock to Wolfsburg 17 minutes into the first half.
For the next 40 minutes the match would be controlled by Ingolstadt’s impressive shape which kept Wolfsburg out of the box for much of the first half and the opening moments of the second. With the hosts in need of inspiration, manager Dieter Hecking brought in his stars Perišić and Olić a move which paid off in the end as Wolfsburg dominated play despite Ingolstadt keeping their space, eventually drawing level in the 66th minute off a brilliant long distance strike from Naldo.
With the momentum turned the inevitable was near and Olić finished off the Bavarian underdogs late in the match with a poacher’s winner off a shot spilled out by Ramazan Özcan to see a deserved end to an exciting match that could have been easily a 1-0 win for the visitors without a step up in play by the star players of Wolfsburg.
Özcan errors lead to clock turning goals from Bundesliga veterans
Two staples of the Bundesliga stepped up for Wolfsburg in vintage moments from two players who have spent large chunks of their careers playing in Germany. Naldo the 31 year old, had the goal of the night on a screamer from quite a distance while the 34 year old Olić was the hero with his late rebound winner to send Wolfsburg through.
Both goals will be memorable moments for two players who have over 400 combined matches in German football, but they did not come without the help of some second division keeping from Özcan.
Naldo caught the keeper flat-footed while Olić was fortunate to be directly in front of a rebound off a shot outside of the box that Özcan should have caught easily. Instead he parried the ball to the boot of one of the more dangerous players in the Bundesliga inside the box. In the end despite playing a rather flawless match two crucial errors will haunt the struggling Ingolstadt squad which has been trying to turn things around since a turbulent start to the season under now sacked manager Marco Kurz. Nobody should blame Özcan for the defeat as he made some tough saves that kept the udnerdogs in the match as Wolfsburg attempted 22 shots, but the keeper himself would even admit that he would like the ball back.
Poor attendance for a cracking match
The allure of midweek Cup action didn’t appear to interest Wolfsburg supporters as the match failed to draw much of a gate on Wednesday.
— Ross Dunbar (@rossdunbar93) December 4, 2013
Kicker reported less than 10, 000 fans went out to the Volkswagen Arena to cheer on their club in the Round of 16. Perhaps not surprising due to Ingolstadt’s status as a heavy underdog, but it was a shame that Wolfsburg’s usually loud home support was not exactly on hand to add to the atmosphere of an intriguing match.
Deserved win for Wolfsburg
Despite the early heroics of Caiuby against his former club, Wolfsburg dominated much of the match. A 73% possession rate and 567 completed passes tell the tale of a game where the hosts weathered the storm of a shock counter attack before climbing back to victory.
With the hosts passing the ball around, Ingolstadt didn’t do themselves any help in turning the ball over 72 times in their 236 attempted passes. When Ingolstadt did have the ball they were clearly trying to just get it as far down the pitch as possible, perfectly fine with parking the bus especially in the second half. An understandable tactic and one that almost paid off of they could have held onto the ball for longer periods of time.
Ingolstadt defended well and kept their shape intact after going ahead to do well to erase the dominant possession of Wolfsburg, but post match the tale of the numbers in 22 shots on goal to 5 in favor of Wolfsburg show a deserved win was taken by the hosts.
Header courtesy of nachrichten168.eu
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