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Last-minute winner: Koné heads Foals into quarters

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Last-minute winner: Koné heads Foals into quarters

Borussia are into the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal. The Foals won their Round of 16 tie against VfL Wolfsburg 1-0 courtesy of a last-gasp winner from Manu Koné.

The around 40,000 spectators at BORUSSIA-PARK watched a generally even game in the first 45 minutes. The Foals recorded more possession (62 percent) and a good pass completion rate (87 percent) but, just like VfL Wolfsburg, were rarely dangerous in the final third. Fittingly, both teams’ best chances came from distance after the ball had been cleared. After Christoph Kramer’s effort went narrowly wide in the 7th minute, Moritz Nicolas comfortably held on to Aster Vranckx’s shot at the other end in the 10th. We therefore went in goalless at the break.

The Foals came out with more urgency after half time and tried more and more to get in behind the Wolfsburg defence. Julian Weigl’s low shot in the 49th minute was for a long time the most dangerous effort of the game. The Foals had more of the game from then on and were very strong defensively, as were Wolfsburg, at least at the final hurdle. In the last few minutes of regulation time, the visitors suddenly began to pile on the pressure. Firstly, Tomas put the ball in the net only for it to be ruled out for offside in the 86th minute, before Nicolas saved brilliantly from Wind in the 90th. In the dying seconds of injury time, Wind fired just wide when free in the penalty area. The game thus went to extra time. 

The guests carried on their momentum from the final minutes of the first 90 and had more of the play, but without creating chances by breaking down the still-alert Borussia defence. Gladbach meanwhile had a good chance for Robin Hack on the counter in the 101st minute.

The second period of extra time began with two big chances for Joakim Maehle for the visitors, however he failed to capitalise on either. Despite having tired legs, Borussia continued to stay firm, defended fiercely and with concentration, and found the net following a counterattack in the 120th minute. Substitutes Nathan Ngoumou and Florian Neuhaus combined to get to the byline. Neuhaus crossed into the middle and fellow sub Manu Koné headed home from close range to send BORUSSIA-PARK into ecstasy.

TEAM NEWS

Head coach Gerardo Seoane made four changes to his starting eleven from the 2-1 win over TSG Hoffenheim. Julian Weigl and Tomáš Čvančara returned to the team after injury, while Christoph Kramer and Fabio Chiarodia, who made his first start for the club, replaced Manu Koné and Marvin Friedrich. Joe Scally, Nico Elvedi and Chiarodia made up the back three in front of goalkeeper Moritz Nicolas. Franck Honorat (right) and Luca Netz (left) were the wing-backs. Kramer featured in central midfield along with Rocco Reitz and Julian Weigl. Alassane Plea and Čvančara played in attack.

Jordan (thigh strain), Max Wöber (illness), Tony Jantschke (thigh), Ko Itakura (recovering from an ankle operation), Jonas Omlin (recovering from a shoulder operation), Lukas Ullrich (shoulder operation) and Hannes Wolf (back in training after a knee meniscus tear) were all unavailable.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

7’: Borussia have the first big chance! Scally’s cross is blocked but lands at the feet of Kramer who hits it first time. The ball flies past the bottom right of the goal.

10’: The visitors have their first effort from the second ball following a free kick. Vranckx picks up the ball in the penalty area and shoots low. Nicolas is down quickly and holds on comfortably.

18’: Wolfsburg break into the Gladbach area and Maehle has a shot after Wind’s pass, but it goes wide to the right.

37’: After an attack on the left, the ball comes to Scally outside the penalty area on the left. He cuts inside and shoots, but it goes well wide.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS

49’: So nearly 1-0! Honorat plays a corner back to Weigl, who shoots and forces Casteels into a save. Plea and Chiarodia both fail to convert the rebound, but the Frenchman was in an offside position.

86’: That was close! Baku plays the ball through to Tomas, who buries it past Nicolas, but he was just offside and the goal doesn’t count.

90’: Nicolas saves brilliantly!  Wind gets his head on a cross and sends it almost perfectly towards the far corner, but Borussia’s goalkeeper dives to claw the ball away.

90+3’: Deep breath! Gerhardt feeds Wind who is free in the penalty area, but the Dane shoots just wide from about ten yards out in a central position.

FIRST HALF OF EXTRA TIME HIGHLIGHTS

101’: Netz and Hack advance on the left and find Plea in the middle. He lays it off to Hack, but his shot is deflected wide for a corner.

SECOND HALF OF EXTRA TIME HIGHLIGHTS

107’: Maehle shoots from the edge of the penalty area. Nicolas remains alert and holds on to the ball.

108’: Maehle again, but over! The Wolfsburg player gets the ball in the six-yard box but fires over.

120’: GOALLLLLLLLL FOR BORUSSIA! Neuhaus powers through to the byline after a pass from Ngoumou and crosses superbly into the middle, where Koné rises highest to head in the winner from close range!

STATISTICS

Borussia: Nicolas – Scally, Elvedi (Friedrich 97’), Chiarodia – Weigl – Honorat (Neuhaus 97’), Reitz (Koné 81’), Kramer (Hack 81’), Netz – Plea, Čvančara (Ngoumou 60’). // Unused substitutes: Olschowsky, Herrmann, Ranos, Borges Sanches.

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Lacroix, Jenz, Zesiger – Maehle, Arnold, Vranckx (Majer 115’), Rogerio (Baku 23’) – Gerhardt (Svanberg 112’) – Wind, Tomas (Cerny 112’). // Unused substitutes: Pervan, Fischer, Cozza, Kaminski, Paredes.

Goal: 1-0 Koné (120’)

Yellow cards: Arnold, Gerhardt.

Attendance: 39,827

Referee: Bastian Dankert (Rostock)

Fabio Chiarodia made his first start for Borussia against Wolfsburg.
Tomáš Čvančara returned to the starting line-up after muscle issues.
Julian Weigl was also fit again and led the Foals out as captain.

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Last-minute winner: Koné heads Foals into quarters

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