Dortmund — Borussia Dortmund edged Union Berlin on penalties to advance to the round of 16 of the German cup. Matthias Ginter was one of three Dortmund players to score from the spot. Here is what the 21-year-old centre-back told reporters after the match.
Was it easier to find five players for the penalty shoot-out this time around than in the DFB Pokal final in May?
Yes. Since then we’ve trained spot kicks each morning before a match that could potentially go to penalties. Though I can only speak for myself. I still regret that I didn’t take a penalty in Berlin [at the cup final, which Dortmund lost on penalties to Bayern Munich], but I did so at the Olympic final [against Brazil in August] and so it was clear to me that I would take one today as well.
How big was the relief that you managed to proceed to the next round?
It was tough for us to create chances. We made things too complicated upfront once we found a gap. Union Berlin’s goal, which forced the match to go to overtime was somewhat lucky, but in overtime the game was even. They could have taken the lead themselves with a big chance then. Hence we’re very relieved as it wasn’t our best game.
Though you did control the match in most parts.
In the second half, we had more control of the match. We practically didn’t allow them any chances after the break. However, we played at home and without taking anything away from Union Berlin, we should have doubled the lead earlier in the match. In the end, a ball can always slip through like it was sadly the case today.
Did you bank on Roman Weidenfeller’s strength of saving penalties?
Not at all. We wanted to decide the match in regular time. But obviously, Roman has a lot of qualitiy and a lot of experience, which helps in a penalty shootout.
How bad is it that you have 30 minutes more in your legs than Schalke ahead of the derby?
Not too bad. They had a close match and also have to travel home from Nürnberg. Especially in the derby, fitness cannot be an excuse – at least not those 30 minutes.
What changes do you have to make so that you won’t commit the same errors in the derby as you did in the recent weeks?
We have to focus on our virtues. We have to find back to routines we utilised at the start of the season. We have to keep it simple, play with fewer frills.
How hard is that to achieve without continuity in personnel?
Obviously, it doesn’t make things easier. It would be nice if we could play regularly with a string of players.
We have a lot of young players in the team and have a lot of potential, but ups and downs in our performance are only natural at this point – especially when so many youngsters are together on the field.
But nothing is lost yet. We proceeded to the next round, which is the only thing that matters in the cup. We have to better ourselves in the league but everything can still be rectified.
Next to Aubameyang, you were the biggest goal threat in recent derbies. Do you have any plans for Saturday?
Yes, I did score in the last two derbies last season, so it’s about time I score again [laughs]. I’m not going into the match thinking about scoring, but I won’t say no when I get the chance.