WOLFSBURG: Ivan Rakitic scored a controversial late-game penalty to secure a 1-1 draw for Sevilla at Wolfsburg in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Rakitic sent the keeper the wrong way to equalize in the 87th minute, although the home side protested furiously that the penalty should not have been awarded. Wolfsburg midfielder Josuha Guilavogui was penalized after connecting with Erik Lamela after clearing the ball. Referee Georgi Kabakov checked the video replays before pointing to the spot, then showed Guilavogui a second yellow card to leave the hosts with 10 men.
“I don’t know if today is the first day they use VAR, if it’s brand new to them. But it’s not a penalty, ”said Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold. “I’m sorry, you can’t whistle for that in the Champions League.”
Alejandro “Papu” Gomez hit the post late in the game for Sevilla.
“It’s a shame we weren’t able to turn the tide because we deserved it,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said.
Kabakov issued his first yellow card of the game in the first minute and showed 10 in total – seven to the home side.
Wolfsburg hadn’t managed a shot on target until Renato Steffen opened the scoring from close range after Sevilla failed to clear in the 48th.
The first half was a stop-start fight punctuated by frequent whistles from Kabakov.
Wolfsburg could have had a penalty in the 28th when Dodi Lukebakio fell to a potential Diego Carlos foul, but a VAR check cleared the Sevilla defender.
Wolfsburg’s best half-time chance came with Arnold’s free kick he shot before the break.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first after Steffen’s goal, with frequent interruptions and numerous fouls. The yellow cards continued after Guilavogui’s dismissal with Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst reserved for his reaction.
It was the German team’s first home Champions League game in five years. New coach Mark van Bommel’s side have had a good start to the season, despite being ruled out of the German Cup for using too many substitutes in their first-round game.
Wolfsburg have won their first four Bundesliga games and drew 0-0 in the Champions League in Lille, but Hoffenheim inflicted the first league loss this weekend.
Sevilla, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the Spanish league and had just achieved two consecutive victories. The Spaniards were without the suspended striker Youssef En-Nesyri.
Rakitic’s penalty earned Sevilla a point for the second game in a row as he also scored there in the Spanish side’s 1-1 draw at home against Salzburg on September 14.
Salzburg beat Lille 2-1 at home in the other Group G game. The Austrian side now lead the group with four points, ahead of Sevilla and Wolfsburg with two points. Lille has one.