1. FC Heidenheim 0-1 VfL Wolfsburg: Gomez gives Wolves a narrow win

1. FC Heidenheim 0-1 VfL Wolfsburg: Gomez gives Wolves a narrow win

It was a much-needed confidence boost for the visitors.

Jonathan Walsh

A solitary strike from Mario Gomez gave VfL Wolfsburg a narrow 1-0 win over 1. FC Heidenheim, and secured their place in the next round of the DFB-Pokal.

Team news

Just two changes were made by Frank Schmidt and both were very positive, as Matthias Wittek and Timo Beermann returned to the heart of defence for Ronny Philp and Norman Theuerkauf.

As for the Wolves, Diego Benaglio, Vieirinha, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Paul Seguin were drafted in as Koen Casteels, Christian Träsch, Marcel Schäfer and Julian Draxler sat this one out.

Both sides fail to flourish going forward

It was a tough game to begin and that theme carried on through the entire half, with chances at a real premium at both ends. Ricardo Rodriguez's free-kick flew over while Ben Halloran did similar with a volley opportunity on the edge of the Wolfsburg area. It was a calm but rather low-key start to proceedings at the Voith-Arena.

Daniel Caligiuri was next to try his luck, although that effort was easily halted by Kevin Müller at the near post. Despite the promise of more attacking play between himself and Vieirinha, the latter was forced off for Bruno Henrique due to injury. Just 10 minutes later, he fell foul of the same fate as Justin Möbius came on for his debut.

Wolfsburg were poor after that, with the injuries killing the tempo they had built up. They would bring another good stop from Müller when he sprawled low to his left to keep out Maximilian Arnold's powerful drive. Heidenheim's response was through Denis Thomalla, as his free-kick swerved in the air before Benaglio tipped it over.

Gomez gets the crucial goal

After a forgettable first half for both sides, Wolfsburg responded and grabbed the opener. After a corner was cleared, Caligiuri managed to miscue the ball straight into the feet of Seguin and he cut-back towards Gomez. Unsurprisingly, the experienced forward spun round and finished into the bottom corner with remarkable calm.

The latter stages of the game brought very little in the way of excitement for either side, as Heidenheim struggled to find a way through Wolfsburg's staunch defensive. The two teams traded blows at the death as Marcel Titsch-Rivero stroked a shot just wide from 25 yards, while Gomez shot straight at Müller moments later.

Heidenheim sent everyone forward at the death and several goal-mouth scrambles saw the Wolves nervously holding onto their lead. Beermann had the best chance of all, yet his shot was straight down Benaglio's throat. Had it been either side, extra-time would have been a possibility; instead it was Wolfsburg who progressed.