Lake Buena Vista, FL – The Bundesliga’s VFL Wolfsburg earned a second win in as many games on Thursday night as the club’s young standouts took on Brazil’s Esporte Clube Bahia at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the 2017 Florida Cup. The match reached a draw at the end of regulation, but Wolfsburg outlasted Bahia, 3-2, in a penalty shootout to claim the extra point, winning the Florida Cup FC Challenge for the German group.
Bahia was starting off the tournament coming off a strong 2016 that saw the club regain its place in Brazil’s top flight after finishing fourth in Serie B a season ago.
By drawing Bahia in regulation, Wolfsburg clinched the team competition for Germany in the FC Challenge, as neither Brazil nor the U.S./Argentina group can reach Germany’s 10 points with the two matches remaining. Ricardo Villar presented Wolfsburg with the FC Challenge trophy for Germany. Both Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen finished on five points each with a regulation win and a shootout win each.
Wolfsburg sent a B squad to the tournament, opting to keep the first team in Europe to continue training for a Bundesliga season that hasn’t gone according to plan.
Bahia then came into the game, using speed to get forwards behind the Wolfsburg center backs and around the fullbacks to create chances.But Wolfsburg U-23 keeper Alexander Brunst was the star of the game, making several key saves in the first half of the match and stopping three of the five Bahia spot kicks in the shootout, including the final two shooters from the Brazilian club. Marcel Reichwein, Marvin Kleihs, and Robert Herrman drilled their penalties for Wolfsburg.
The next Florida Cup Match: Clube Atlético Mineiro faces the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday January 14th at Al Lang Stadium in St Petersburg, 4 pm