Wolfsburg climbed to sixth in the Bundesliga Sunday after goalkeeper Koen Casteels pulled off a late stunning penalty save to help seal a 2-1 home over Hoffenheim, who have struggled since their shock win over Bayern Munich.
Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time, but their Israeli striker Munas Dabbur watched helplessly as Casteels pushed away his spot-kick attempt.
It was the second late penalty which went begging after Wolfsburg’s Dutch striker Wout Weghorst fired his spot-kick attempt wide on 84 minutes.
Wolfsburg raced into the lead when Swiss winger Renato Steffen scored after just six minutes, although the VAR needed to check whether there was an offside in the build-up.
A superb pass by Wolfsburg midfielder Xaver Schlager then split the defence and put Steffen away with the towering Weghorst scoring on 26 minutes. However, the 1.97m-tall Dutchman squandered the chance to put the result beyond doubt when he fired his late penalty attempt wide.
Hoffenheim finished the stronger and when Wolfsburg’s US defender John Anthony Brooks failed to connect with a clearance header, Hoffenheim’s replacement forward Sargis Adamyan smashed his shot into the net three minutes from time.
However, Casteels’ goalmouth heroics made sure Wolfsburg took the three points.
Since shocking Bayern Munich 4-1 in late September left them briefly top of the table, Hoffenheim have now won just three of their eight games to drop to 13th.
Bayern opened a two-point gap over second-placed RB Leipzig on Saturday with a 3-2 win at rivals Borussia Dortmund, who dropped to third.