Leipzig, March 4 (IANS) Leipzig secured a berth for themselves in the German Cup semi-finals after recording a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg.
The Wolves squandered a penalty through top striker Wout Weghorst while Leipzig staged a well-positioned defence and a clinical chance conversion over 90 minutes on Wednesday, Xinhua news reports.
Leipzig got off to a bright start on home soil as Christopher Nkunku’s header on target from a sharp angle forced Koen Casteels into a diving save with 12 minutes played.
The hosts continued powerfully and should have broken the deadlock six minutes later, but Justin Kluivert wasn’t able to slot home from very close range.
Wolfsburg then had the golden chance to open the scoring out of the blue as Nkunku fouled Kevin Mbabu inside the box. Weghost stepped up but slipped as he shot to pull the subsequent penalty over the target in the 26th minute.
The visitors from Lower Saxony gained momentum as Renato Steffen tested Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi following a one-on-one just before the break.
After halftime, Leipzig turned up and assumed control but for all that neither Yussuf Poulsen nor Nkunku was able to score from promising positions.
The host’s efforts eventually paid off at the hour mark when substitute Alexander Sorloth passed into the path of Poulsen, who shrugged off Xaver Schlager before drilling the ball past hapless Casteels.
Leipzig remained on the front foot as Casteels had to be on guard to defuse Dani Olmo’s low shot on target moments later.
Wolfsburg tried to respond but came only close with a deflected attempt from Josip Brekalo that hit the side netting in the 78th minute.
Leipzig sealed the deal and broke Wolfsburg’s resistance in the 88th minute after Hwang Hee-Chan benefitted from a loose rebound to mark the winner four minutes after coming on.
“Overall, I think Leipzig secured a deserved victory. They were the more dangerous team, and we couldn’t hold the pace in the second half,” Wolfsburg’s head coach Oliver Glasner said.
Elsewhere, second division outfit Holstein Kiel advanced into the semifinals after easting 3-0 past lower league side Rot-Weiss Essen.