VfL Wolfsburg (4) 1-0 (2) KAA Gent: Schürrle seals Wolves passage into quarter-finals

The Bundesliga outfit are continuing to make waves in Europe.

VfL Wolfsburg (4) 1-0 (2) KAA Gent: Schürrle seals Wolves passage into quarter-finals
Image credit: UEFA
VfL Wolfsburg (4)
1 0
KAA Gent (2)
VfL Wolfsburg (4): (4-1-2-1-2) Casteels; Träsch, Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez; Luiz Gustavo; Guilavogui, Arnold (Vieirinha 83'); Draxler (Caligiuri 78'); Kruse, Schürrle (Schäfer 89').
KAA Gent (2): (4-4-2) Sels; Rafinha (Foket 78'), Nielsen, Gershon, Asare; Dejaegere, Neto, Kums, Matton (Saief 68'); Milicevic, Simon (Coulibaly 70').
SCORE: 1-0, Schürrle 74'.
REFEREE: Damir Skomina (SVN). Booked: Booked.

VfL Wolfsburg booked their placed in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 1-0 win over KAA Gent, progressing 4-2 on aggregate.

In a game that lacked intensity for periods, André Schürrle's second-half strike proved to be the difference.

Both teams made changes from the first leg, as Wolfsburg brought in Joshua Guilavogui and André Schürrle to replace Sebastian Jung and Vieirinha. Gent opted for three alterations; Rafinha, Brecht Dejaegere and Rami Gershorn were drafted in to take the places of Stefan Mitrovic, Laurent Depoitre and Thomas Foket.

Frustrating first half

Despite the shake-up in personnel, the early exchanges were similar to those in the first leg. Schürrle failed to make the most of a massive chance when played through by Max Kruse, while Danijel Milicevic went close at the other end with a powerful drive from the edge of the area.

Schürrle and Kruse then reversed roles as the latter turned and shot wide on the half volley. The most strenuous act of the opening 20 minutes for Matz Sels came from Guilavogui's rasping drive from outside the area, though the Belgian stopper was equal to the task.

Gent were looking more dangerous than they did in the first period, in comparison to the first meeting between the two. Moses Simon was providing their main attacking threat along the left, though no-one could convert from his dangerous cross. Simon had a go at goal late on himself, though Koen Casteels was equal to his effort. The first 45 ended 0-0, in what was a tight and tense half of football.

It was a hard-fought game in Lower Saxony. | Image source: kicker - Getty Images
It was a hard-fought game in Lower Saxony. | Image source: kicker - Getty Images

Schürrle strikes

After the break, Wolfsburg came out firing. Dieter Hecking's men were seemingly keen to kill the tie off, knowing one goal would mean Gent would require three. Luiz Gustavo's effort and a deflected Dante header came close to ending the contest; Schürrle also had a good chance, but the visitors managed to hack his shot clear.

The introduction of both Kenny Saief and Kalifa Coulibaly seemed to spark Gent into some sort of attacking life, although the latter's shot was tame and easily dealt with. With the Belgians coming forward more, they were leaving themselves open to counter attacks. When Guilavogui played in Schürrle, he looked set to continue his good form but instead fired into the side-netting.

However, after passing up several excellent chances, the breakthrough finally came. Julian Draxler provided the spark and assist that had been lacking all evening, driving to the by-line before firing in a low cross to Schürrle. The former Chelsea man finally found the back of the net, sweeping home score his second Champions League goal of the season.

Kruse and Vieirinha had late chances to add further gloss to the scoreline, but Selz kept both at bay. The final whistle sounded not long after those opportunities, meaning Wolfsburg's Champions League adventure would continue to the quarter finals. Gent did themselves proud, though ultimately fell sort of an ever improving Volkswagen Arena outfit.