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German Cup Final Report - FC Bayern vs Borussia Dortmund

Monday 23rd May 2016
A frenetic German Cup Final was ultimately decided on penalties. Mark Dannell has the full match report.

FC Bayern München vs Borussia Dortmund - 0:0 aet (Bayern win 4:3 on penalties)

After 120 minutes of lighting paced action, it was ultimately FC Bayern who emerged victorious, Douglas Costa slotting home the winning penalty in front of 74,322 spectators in the Berlin Olympiastadion. A bitter 3rd defeat in a row in the final for Dortmund, despite an excellent season under Thomas Tuchel they go to the summer break empty handed. For Pep Guardiola, for so long described as a "cold fish" by critical media outlets it was a 21st title and a fitting way to sign off his Bayern Munich career. At the end he even summoned a few tears and was warmly greeted by all of his players who showed immense respect for their coach with captain Philip Lahm inviting him to lift the trophy.

FC Bayern lined up more or less as expected, Kimmich played central defence and Thiago slotted into central midfield as Xabi Alonso was not fit to start. Dortmund started with a midfield 3 of Bender, Weigl and Castro and were able to cut off many avenues of supply. A tactical battle developed and it was apparent by about 20 minutes that both teams were relatively tired from the long season. Dortmund were content to counter attack and Bayern huffed and puffed through the middle. The first real chance of note came after half an hour, Roman Bürki saved well from Douglas Costa before Dortmund countered and Aubameyang shot wide.

In the second-half, Bayern had much the better of the action but were still susceptible to the counter attack. Ribery twice, Müller and Lewandowski all had presentable chances to open the scoring, while for Dortmund Mats Hummels perhaps should have done better with a header from a Reus corner just after the break. Hummels had a solid game all told, however he was unfortunately forced off after 77 minutes with severe cramp in his final match. To put it kindly he left the field to "muted applause". Matthias Ginter replaced him in a sign of things to come next season.

Just after Hummels was forced to leave the field Dortmund worked a great opening and the ball broke to Aubameyang. Inexplicably for a man with 39 goals this season he side-footed over the bar and extra time was beckoning all of a sudden. There were several flash points over the course of normal time, with Vidal lucky to escape a 2nd booking on more than one occasion and especially Ribery extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch as the Frenchman appeared to poke Gonzalo Castro in the face.
VIDEO: Franck Ribery almost touches brain with revolting eye gouge in German Cup final | SportsJOE.ie
In extra time Bayern were the dominant side, Lewandowski was denied by a brilliant challenge from Erik Durm who had replaced Marcel Schmelzer in normal time. Shinji Kagawa had little time to make an impact after coming on in the 105th minute while Bayern only made one change over the entire 120 minutes with Kingsley Coman replacing the tiring Ribery in the 108th.

And so we came to the drama of the penalty shootout once again. Thomas Tuchel admitted after the game it was difficult to find 5 penalty takers and that showed as a weak effort from Sven Bender was saved by Neuer after Kagawa and Vidal had scored. Lewandowski then made it 2-1 and things got worse after central defender Sokratis could only find the post for Dortmund. Bürki gave Dortmund hope by saving Kimmich's very poor effort but the last 4 penalties were scored in order by Aubameyang, Müller, Reus and Douglas Costa to gove Bayern the title 4-3 in the shoot out.

The Bayern contingent celebrated furiously with their departing coach while Dortmund were left to wonder what might have been.

Well, I am sad to say that I called it, even down to the extra time and penalties. Did Bayern ultimately deserve it? Just about, they were certainly the more active of the 2 teams. For the supposed quality on offer the two "superstar" strikers, Aubameyang and Lewandowski had fairly awful games with both missing chances they really should have scored. The game had a peak audience of 14 million in Germany with Public broadcaster ARD and Sky sharing hosting rights and it was broadcast worldwide (by all accounts 189 countries!) so it was nice to see a good advert for the German game.

Pep will ride off to Manchester now and no doubt raid Dortmund yet again with Ilkay Gundogan rumoured to be high on his shopping list. Dortmund will be determined for 4th time lucky after losing their 3rd consecutive cup final. A thrilling 2016/17 season awaits!
Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

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