The Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim players stood on the pitch after the final whistle, joyless and with visible disappointment on their faces, while Niko Kovac and Pellegrino Matarazzo bravely high-fived their charges. In the midst of the discussion about their coaches, VfL and TSG are still eagerly waiting for an end to the winless streak in the Bundesliga.
The 2:2 (0:1) in Wolfsburg was not enough for both teams to gain points in the table and to give the coaches more peace of mind in the short term.
The Lower Saxony team, who got their fourth draw in a row, have now been waiting for three points for five games, the Kraichgauer team for six. Substitute Croatian midfielder Lovro Majer (59th minute/70th) equalized Hoffenheim's opening goals by Maximilian Beier (6th) and Grischa Prömel (66th).
Marcel Schäfer: “Niko remains coach”
“The boys give everything, the maximum, but they don’t reward themselves for their hard work with a win, especially in the second half,” said Kovac on the DAZN streaming service. The team made up two deficits. "Compliments of the team." He did not want to comment further on his own future.
Managing director Marcel Schäfer took care of that after the game. The 39-year-old confirmed that Kovac is staying at VfL for the time being: "Niko remains the coach and will be on the training pitch tomorrow," said Schäfer. The plan is to end the season with the coach. The ex-professional denied rumors about several trainer names that were recently linked to the eleventh place in the table. The VfL fans among the 22,917 spectators expressed their displeasure with their team's sporting activities by whistling during the game.
Prömel: “Fair draw”
There was some dissatisfaction among the guests regarding the draw. "Of course we came here to take three points. That's why it's annoying at the end," said Prömel. Hoffenheim was better in the first half, Wolfsburg in the second half, so it was a “fair draw”.
“We are currently not managing to win games. The key to victories has not yet been found,” stated teammate Wout Weghorst.
Behrens in Wolfsburg's starting eleven
Amid the home fans' deafening whistle protest against the Bundesliga's investor deal, Beier provided a loud signal for the guests to leave. The fine technician dribbled around the unfortunate-looking Sebastiaan Bornauw and then shot low into the net.
A setback for Kovac. Managing director Marcel Schäfer had already expressed his confidence in the coach before the game and said that together they believed in the turnaround. To initiate this, the hosts strengthened themselves in the winter with attacker Kevin Behrens. The entry from league rivals 1. FC Union Berlin, who played from the start, remained pale for long stretches.
Hoffenheim more stable in the first half
On the other hand, Matarazzo expected the ex-Wolfsburg player Weghorst to have the right bite in the attack and also put returnee Ozan Kabak in the starting line-up. Hoffenheim seemed more stable than VfL in the first half. Even if Wolfsburg repeatedly caused danger. Wind (20th) failed at the post and at the well-disposed Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann (30th).
After about 30 minutes, referee Florian Badstübner stopped the game because VfL fans had thrown small objects onto the field. Shortly afterwards things continued. In terms of sport, things remained manageable.
Majer brought new momentum into the game when he flicked a shot low into the goal. Captain Maximilian Arnold's mistake after goalkeeper Koen Casteels' pass helped Prömel take the visitors' lead again. Majer then scored the final point with a converted penalty.