Ozil strikes to give Bremen UEFA cup

May 31st, 2009 - 9:10 am ICT by IANS  

Berlin, May 31 (DPA) Werder Bremen made amends for a disappointing league season and defeat in the UEFA Cup final by clinching the German Cup with a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen Saturday.
Mesut Ozil struck in the 58th minute in Berlin to give Bremen their sixth German Cup title and their first major trophy since 2004 when they won the league and cup double.

Ozil took a pass from Diego and fired a left-foot shot from an angle which took a slight deflection off Manuel Friedrich to leave keeper Rene Adler without a chance.

Bremen were full value for their victory before a capacity 74,244 crowd in the Olympic Stadium, and but for Adler could have taken the lead earlier.

The Germany keeper had to save early from Sebastian Proedl whose header from a free-kick looked to be from an offside position, and then did well before half-time to tip a Naldo header over the bar.

Adler had been fortunate earlier when he could only parry a Naldo free-kick and Diego followed up with a shot without real force at the keeper when team-mate Torsten Frings was in a better position.

Leverkusen rarely looked threatening although Patrick Helmes should have done better with a shot screwed wide of the post from a good position.

Diego, so often the architect for Bremen and desperate to do well in his last game before moving to Juventus, was busy as Werder established midfield supremacy.

Bremen had missed Diego’s creativity in last week’s UEFA Cup final against against Shakhtar Donetsk in Istanbul when the midfielder was suspended, and although the playmaker could not always shine on the Berlin stage his moment came when he set up Bremen’s winner.

From a long clearance up field from keeper Tim Wiese the ball fell to the Brazilian who despite the attentions of three Leverkusen players fed Ozil advancing into the left of the area, and his young midfield adjutant did the rest.

The game also proved to be a farewell for Bremen’s veteran captain Frank Baumann, in his last game before retirement, who left the field a minute late to warm applause - returning to lift the trophy at the medals’ ceremony.

Although Bremen won the league cup in 2006, their last major success was the league and cup double in 2004. Thomas Schaaf’s side now goes back into Europe in the fourth qualifying round of next season’s new Europa League.

Leverkusen, who won the cup trophy in 1993 but lost the 1992 final, are left reflecting on a season which started brightly but ended with a ninth-place finish in the league, one better than Bremen.

The loss of form towards the end has raised speculation on the future of coach Bruno Labbadia who has been linked with SV Hamburg.

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