DFB-Cup: Dortmund crown a fantastic season

It was a dream final – a face-off between Germany’s top two teams. League champions Borussia Dortmund were up against the runners-up FC Bayern Munich. The giants were to meet again as they did four matches before the end of the Bundesliga season. One month after the vital league game in Dortmund in 11 April to decide the destination of the shield for the winner of the championship, the game in Berlin on 12 May was all about who was going to walk away with the “Pott” as the cup is popularly called in Germany. Dortmund had previously done the double over Bayern in the championship – both matches ended in 1-0 wins – and the black and yellows added a 5-2 (3-1) win against the record league championship winners after a memorable evening in the capital, Berlin.  For coach Jürgen Klopp and his team, it crowned a glittering season. Bourssia Dortmund duly celebrated their first ever double 103 years after being founded.

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The Borussia Dortmund team receiving the cup from the Germany President Joachim Gauck. (photo: GES/Augenklick)


“It’s amazing,” said an ecstatic Klopp after his team had clinched the cup win. The 100 million viewers in 150 countries, including a record 15 million in Germany, watching the final were just as surprised by the dramaturgy of the final as the 75,000 crowd in the Olympic Stadium.  A mistake early on led to the 15-time cup winners going 1-0 behind through a Shinji Kagawa strike in the third minute before Arjen  Robben  equalised with a penalty in the 25th. Another penalty converted by Mats Hummels (41st) was followed by a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick (45th, 58th, 81st) and a Franck Ribéry goal (75th) which put a little respectability on the score sheet. One week before the Champions League final in Munich against Chelsea, the record champions suffered a bitter loss. It was only the third Munich defeat in 18 appearances in a DFB Cup final. It left Jupp Heynckes still without a cup win as a coach. Klopp on the other hand enjoyed a happy end to his first cup final appearance. As for his Borussia team, it was their third cup success after 1965 and 1989. 

“Can’t describe it in words”

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Three-goal Robert Lewandowski seen battling with Bastian Schweinsteiger (left) in the 5-2 win by Borussia Dortmund against Bayern München. (photo: GES/Augenklick)


After the team had received the gold cup from President Joachim Gauck, the black and yellow fans in the German capital then celebrated a raucous party that went on until the early hours of the morning. Players, coaches and club officials wore T-shirts with the words “Double winners 2012”. “It was a cup final that went even better than anything we could have imagined. We struck ice-cold, scored great goals. I just can’t describe in words what’s going on inside us,” said Klopp. Bayern on the other hand set about an immediate analysis of the heavy defeat. “It’s bitter, the mistakes we made,” said captain Philipp Lahm, who nevertheless claimed his team played better.  “The way we played defensively was catastrophic. We’ve only got ourselves to blame. You have to admit, we didn’t deserve to win,” explained Heynckes.  Watching from the VIP stands, national coach Joachim Löw saw some glaring Bayern mistakes: Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng and Lahm in the four man back line were out of sorts and Manuel Neuer in goal didn’t have his best day. Bayern’s international players all performed well below par whilst BVB’s Mats Hummels was brilliant. Eight Munich players and five from Dortmund belong to the 27-man German national squad named last week by Löw for the European Championships. .

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A jubilant Mats Hummels after converting the penalty against Manuel Neuer to put his team 2-1 up. Dortmund eventually ran out 5-2 winners against Bayern Munich. (photo: GES/Augenklick)


“We had some unbelievable moments in the cup and crowned everything again. It’s fantastic all that’s happening in Berlin,” said an overjoyed Hummels, who, together with the whole team, paraded the cup in front of hundreds of thousands of ecstatic Dortmund fans in the city on the Sunday following the match. “There’s a feeling of boundless joy and relief within the team. It’s a day that’ll go down with all of us as one of the best of our careers,” said Hummels who learnt his trade at Bayern Munich.

On the way to the final, BVB didn’t let in a single goal in normal play. The only time the ball hit the back of the Dortmund net was in the penalty shoot-out (5-4) in the last 16 against the second division side and near neighbours, Fortuna Düsseldorf. The black and yellows also didn’t have to face a single opponent form the first division. In the semifinal they beat second division champions SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-0 in extra time whilst Holstein Kiel were defeated 4-0 in the quarters. In the previous rounds they were 3-0 and 2-0 winners against SV Sandhausen and Dynamo Dresden respectively. Bayern, however, had a more difficult passage to the final. After suffering two Bundesliga defeats against Borussia Mönchengladbach, they had to overcome the same team in the semifinals. With the scores level after extra time they eventually won 4-3 on penalties. Playing away in the round before, they beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0. But Dortmund was then – for the fifth time in a row – too strong for Munich on 12 May.