Mission accomplished for Oliver Glasner & Co as they head back to Germany with their Europa League hopes still intact.
|Wout Weghorst.||Photo: Кирилл Венедиктов/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0|
Lead striker Wout Weghorst took advantage of a propitious bounce to open the scoring in the 21st minute. The first tally came very much against the run of play, with the Albanians refusing to shy away from their favored German competitors.
A highly physical match ensued. Central midfielder Maximillian incurred injury. After attempting at first to play through the pain, he was subbed off in the 36th. One minute after newly-acquired center back Maxene Lacroix doubled Wolfsburg’s advantage, Kukesi were awarded a penalty courtesy of a Felix Klaus takedown in the box.
VfL Keeper Koen Casteels deftly saved the spot kick to keep his clean sheet. Kukesi appeals for another penalty on a late challenge by Lacroix were waved off six minutes later.
The Glasner XI were able to conjure up few scoring chances and did look defensively vulnerable. The Albanians came close to getting back into the match with a hit of the crossbar in the 58th.
Eventually, Weghorst would put the issue beyond all doubt with a fine finish off an excellent service from the just-subbed-on Joao Victor. Admir Mehmedi would add the fourth one minute before injury time, after executing a give-and-go with Xaver Schlager.