Wolfs­burg beat Dort­mund 3-1 in fi­nal to win Ger­man Cup for the first time

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY CIARAN FA­HEY

Wolfs­burg de­feated Borus­sia Dort­mund 3- 1 to win the Ger­man Cup for the first time Satur­day, deny­ing Juer­gen Klopp the per­fect send­off in his fi­nal game as Dort­mund coach.

Af­ter seven years at the club, the 47- year- old Klopp was un­able to in­spire his side to victory de­spite go­ing ahead in the fifth minute through Pierre- Em­er­ick Aubameyang.

Luiz Gus­tavo equal­ized against the run of play in the 22nd af­ter Mitch Langerak had saved Naldo’s pow­er­ful free kick, Kevin De Bruyne put Wolfs­burg ahead in the 33rd, and Bas Dost com­pleted the scor­ing with a header from close range five min­utes later.

Dort­mund fought hard in the sec­ond half, only to strug­gle against Wolfs­burg’s well- or­ga­nized de­fense with goal­keeper Diego Be­naglio in fine form.

“I’m sim­ply proud of the team,” said Wolfs­burg coach Di­eter Heck­ing, who cel­e­brated his first ti­tle.

Heck­ing’s play­ers wore jer­seys with a green heart and the No. 19 on the left chest side to re­mem­ber team­mate Ju­nior Ma­landa, the 20- year- old Bel­gian in­ter­na­tional killed in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent dur­ing the win­ter break.

“We wanted to win this game for Ju­nior,” Be­naglio said. “He is still a part of this team and will re­main so. He also played this sea­son so he is also a real cup win­ner.”

Dort­mund fans set off flares that sent clouds of yel­low smoke around the sta­dium be­fore kick­off, while Wolfs­burg sup­port­ers took part in an im­pres­sive chore­og­ra­phy un­der a ban­ner that said, “The time is right.”

Volk­swa­gen-backed Wolfs­burg fin­ished run­ner- up to Bay­ern Mu­nich in the Bun­desliga and was play­ing its first fi­nal.

Aubameyang opened the scor­ing when he prod­ded Shinji Ka­gawa’s cross past Diego Be­naglio af­ter Erik Durm eluded two Wolfs­burg de­fend­ers on the edge of the penalty area.

Dort­mund goal­keeper Langerak had to make a good stop to deny Ivan Perisic an im­me­di­ate equal­izer against his for­mer club.

Wolfs­burg ap­peared shaken by the early set­back but Dort­mund failed to turn its early su­pe­ri­or­ity into goals and was left to rue missed chances when Gus­tavo equal­ized.

Then De Bruyne latched onto Daniel Caligiuri’s lay- off and fired it through Mats Hum­mels’ legs and in­side the left post, and Perisic out­sprinted Mar­cel Sch­melzer to cross for Dost to score Wolfs­burg’s third.

“We con­ceded three goals in 16 min­utes,” Klopp said.

Dort­mund had a penalty claim waved away be­fore the break, when Aubameyang ap­peared to be fouled by Ri­cardo Ro­driguez.

It was Wolfs­burg who looked like­lier to score in the sec­ond half de­spite Dort­mund’s en­deav­ors. Langerak de­nied Caligiuri just af­ter the in­ter­val and Durm came to his side’s res­cue with a goal- line clear­ance mid­way though the half.

Ka­gawa came clos­est for Dort­mund only to see his ef­fort clip the out­side of the post.

Klopp ap­plauded the Dort­mund fans as Wolfs­burg’s sup­port­ers were cel­e­brat­ing, and was ap­plauded in turn as he re­ceived his run­ner- up medal and bid an­other farewell.

“Leav­ing hurts a lot. I’ve tried to ex­press my thanks to each of my play­ers. It was a huge honor to work with th­ese guys and I’ve no­ticed that it hurts a lot to leave them,” Klopp said. “I know life goes on, but still, you need a few mo­ments.”

AP

Wolfs­burg’s goal­keeper Diego Be­naglio of Switzer­land, cen­ter, raises the cup af­ter Wolfs­burg won the Ger­man soc­cer cup fi­nal match be­tween Borus­sia Dort­mund and VfL Wolfs­burg in Ber­lin on Satur­day, May 30.

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