Bayern close in on double after beating Dortmund

April 20th, 2008 - 1:35 pm ICT by admin  

Berlin, April 20 (DPA) Bayern Munich closed in on the double as they won the German Cup for the 14th time in their history with a 2-1 extra time victory against Borussia Dortmund in the final played in Berlin. Both Bayern goals Saturday were scored by Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni, who found the back of the net off a pass from French international Franck Ribery in the 11th minute and then scored the winner 13 minutes into extra time.

In between, Croatian international Mladen Petric snatched a dramatic injury time equalizer for Dortmund, who ended the game with 10 men after Jakub Blaszczykowski was sent off in the second half of extra time for a second bookable offence.

Bayern Munich, who have all but won the German championship, dominated throughout the first half but created few opportunities.

Bayern manager Uli Hoeness, whose side beat Borussia Dortmund 5-1 in a league game a week ago, said that he was not surprised that it had been a difficult game.

“Dortmund played very well. After going ahead, we tried to keep the score and then we had to really work hard for the victory. If you try to win three competitions, it is understandable that there will be times when the players lose their power.”

Bayern opened the scoring practically with the first chance of the game in the 11th minute after Dutch international midfielder Mark van Bommel played an exquisite pin-point 40-metre pass that found Ribery in space.

The French midfielder went down the left flank before playing the ball into the middle, where Toni had a simple task pushing the ball over the line from close distance.

It was his 34th goal of the season for Bayern in a game that saw club captain Oliver Kahn win a record-breaking sixth cup winners’ medal.

As the 38-year-old - who was cheered on throughout the game by fans holding placcards saying “Thank You Olli” - lifted the trophy at the end of his last German Cup game, he screamed: “Here it is.”

Kahn said that he felt happy and sad. “I am thoughtful about the fact that it was my last game in Berlin and my last cup game, but of course I am very happy that we won.

“It is always a special experience to play in Berlin. It is clear that if one plays in so many competitions you can’t win all matches convincingly. You need a little bit of luck and we had that.”

It was a fitting finale for the former Germany goalkeeper and for Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld who will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Hitzfeld said the evening had provided him with a beautiful farewell.

“When I entered the stadium before the game and I experienced the terrific atmosphere I had a tear in my eye,” he said.

“Dortmund played well and would have also deserved to have won the game.”

Dortmund, who went into the game as outsiders, had a penalty appeal turned down midway through the first half as forward Alexander Frei was brought down in the area, but the referee had seconds earlier blown for offside.

Bayern were again the stronger side at the start of the second 45 minutes and were unlucky not to add a second goal six minutes after the restart when Miroslav Klose’s header went agonizingly close past the upright.

Just four minutes later the Germany striker saw another header cleared off the line by Polish midfielder Blaszczykowski.

Dortmund then pushed forward looking for an equalizer.

Frei came close on the hour, but his shot with the outside of his foot went straight at Kahn. Shortly afterwards Dortmund’s Florian Kringe hit the outside net with a powerful header.

Bayern should have added a second 12 minutes from the end when Ribery saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Marc Ziegler and a second shot from the rebound was cleared off the line by Robert Kovac.

Instead, it was Dortmund’s Petric who found an unexpected equalizer in the second minute of injury time.

Bayern failed to clear a Dede corner, Christian Woerns headed against a Bayern defender and the ball came to Petric, whose shot went through the legs of defender Lucio and past Philipp Lahn who was standing on the goalline.

The game then went into extra time.

Kahn did well to save a Kringe shot 10 minutes into injury time as he dived to his left to deny Dortmund a second goal.

Toni’s winning goal in the 103rd minute was rather fortuitous as a speculative shot from substitute Lukas Podolski hit the Italian’s leg and trickled over the line with Ziegler going in the wrong direction.

Dortmund defender Sebastian Kehl said that he felt his side had deserved to win.

“We played well after coming back into the match, but Bayern had luck on their side and this saw them through in the end.”

Bayern, who face Russian club St Petersburg in next week’s UEFA Cup semi-finals, can still win an unprecedented treble.

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