Borussia Dortmund are through to the semi-final of the DFB Cup after beating TSG Hoffenheim 3-2.
It was a dramatic tie, that needed an absolute zinger by Sebastian Kehl in extra time, to let BVB progress.
What a cup match it was. Borussia Dortmund started without Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, who both felt their legs after the match against Bayern. Mats Hummels said during the half-time interview on German television, that he couldn’t even climb stairs, without feeling his legs, but should be okay for Saturday’s match against Gladbach.
Though even without Hummels and Reus, the match was starting out fine for Dortmund. It was pretty chaotic, to say the least, as no team managed to hold on to possession for too long. After 18 minutes BVB took the lead in unlikely fashion. It was Neven Subotic, who got his foot to Jakub Blaszczykowski’s corner and the ball pinged in at the left post, leaving Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann without a chance.
The lead was supposed to calm the game down and offer Dortmund a bit more space, as Hoffenheim had to become a bit more active in order to get back into the game. But before Dortmund could settle on their lead, Kevin Volland had already equalized. It took only just more than 100 seconds and Volland struck the ball first time from a corner kick. Completely unmarked in the box, he scored just like Subotic, only that it looked more elegantly.
The equalizer didn’t throw Dortmund off their game, or swung the momentum into Hoffenheim’s direction. Though Hoffenheim took the lead anyway after half an hour. Neven Subotic demonstrated that he – unlike Mats Hummels – was very well capable of climbing stairs, as he raised his foot just high enough for the ball to slip underneath it. Unfortunately Subotic was the last man and his error let no other than Roberto Firmino free on goal, who calmly lobbed it over the beaten Mitch Langerak. It has to be said, Firmino is one hell of a player. Especially in the first half he let the Dortmund players look very average. It let’s one wonder what that kid can do with a better team around him. I guess, we’ll find out next season. Sadly he won’t go to Dortmund, that’s for sure, although he would be a great replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who once again had a very helpless display on the other end.
More importantly, Dortmund came out of the locker room with determination. In the second half they came at Hoffenheim with tenacity and eventually forced the equalizer. It was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who headed in a cross, beating a central defender. Another goal, that has rarely be seen. It was a very well taken header after he bullied his way to the ball against Tobias Strobl, who simply must do better as a central defender.
Sadly, Dortmund ran out of steam before they could add another and the match went to extra time. Not ideal, as BVB will have to play in Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Yet, it was total worth to stay up a little while longer, as Sebastian Kehl scored a beautiful winner.
We’ll just let Kevin Kampl’s glaring miss slide and celebrate that beautiful goal.
The win is massive for Dortmund, who are now a significant step closer to the Europa League. Seventh place should be enough in the league to qualify, in case Dortmund won’t win the cup. With seven games left in the Bundesliga and four points behind Hoffenheim, who sit on 7th, international football should be possible.