Wolfsburg booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history as Andre Schurrle’s late goal earned them a 1-0 home win over Gent.
The simple finish, created by a fine surge into the area by Julian Draxler, sealed a 4-2 aggregate success, but this was not a performance to instil fear in the other sides left in the competition.
The Germans struggled to break down their hard-working opponents for long periods and it was not until the 74th minute that Draxler, the scorer of two goals in the first leg, provided the inspiration to unlock the door.
The goal was Schurrle’s fourth in eight days after his hat-trick against Hannover.
The Wolves went into the game in the box seat, but their task would have been far easier had they not thrown away a 3-0 first-leg lead by conceding two late goals to give the Belgians hope.
And Gent looked comfortable in the first half at the Volkswagen Arena, with Moses Simon causing plenty of problems down the left.
The striker gave Christian Trasch a torrid time, but, despite seeing their visitors having more possession, it was Wolfsburg who enjoyed the better of the few chances.
Max Kruse swivelled in the area and fired an instant shot wide after Schurrle’s low ball in.
Josuha Guilavogui’s fierce long-range effort was pushed away by Matz Sels and Schurrle met the resulting corner from the left by Ricardo Rodriguez at the near post, looping his header over the angle of the far post.
In the second half the hosts began to look more like the side who had recorded back-to-back wins in the league, but they continued to be frustrated.
Luiz Gustavo saw his shot saved by Sels before Schurrle failed to get a clear connection when well-placed in front of goal after Kruse had pulled the ball back to him from Trasch’s deep cross from the right.
The former Chelsea man was wasteful again when he took too long to get a shot away and it got blocked away for a corner.
But finally, with 16 minutes to go, he broke the deadlock.
Draxler picked the ball up on the touchline on the right and drove into the area to the byline before picking out Schurrle to fire low into the net.
That left Gent needing three to go through and it was always going to be too tall an order.
Wolfsburg were unable to add to their lead, but they had already done enough to seal their spot in the last eight.