Borussia Dortmund reached the quarterfinals of the German Cup, beating Hertha Berlin on penalties. Here is what coach and players had to say after the match:
…on the penalty shoot-out: “We had the luck that is needed in a penalty shootout, but also took our shots very well. Roman [Bürki] made contact with every shot [that was directed on target].
…on the game: “It is very hard to create chances against Hertha, to create momentum. We attacked them high up the field to prevent them to cross from half field. We had to make two substitutions at half time [Lukasz Piszczek & Marcel Schmelzer] – we took off Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus as a precautionary measure. [Matthias] Ginter and [Ousmane] Dembele also should have been taken off due to injury but had to play for the full 120 minutes.
We were very much in the game until Sokratis gave the ball away to Vedad Ibisevic. We shortly made another mistake, which cost us confidence and led to even more mistakes. Rapha [Guerreiro] didn’t hold the middle as we had hoped in the first half. Hee did better after the break, which allowed us to have more control in midfield.
We had enough chances in the first half in the form of Aubameyang, the early equaliser after halftime did the rest for us to be sharp in the second half.
We’re happy that we’re through [ŧo the next round] — that’s what today was about.”
…on Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ red card: “There are very few red cards that are more unnecessary than this one. However, he wouldn’t have been picked for the shoot-out. We would have done everything to prevent him from taking a penalty – he took care of that himself.”
…on Ousmane Dembele: “Ousmane Dembele had a full-body cramp and was basically resuscitated. We put him back on the field, so he could maybe bind an opposing player.
We asked him if is able to take a penalty. He wanted to take the first one, which is very honourable – to [have the confidence] after half a season. He has that certain something. He has that fire in him to have the will to win every game.”
Pal Dardai: “We made changes after two minutes. [Rune Jarstein] made good saves, and we took a deserved lead in my view. In the second half we conceded early, Dortmund had a match ball but didn’t capitalise. I’m very proud of my team. We were very compact and showed great spirit. In the end it came down to a bit of luck and mental toughness.”
Roman Bürki: “There is some despair at the back when the chances just won’t go in upfront. There were a couple of sitters of the kind we’ve scored in other games before. You always have some fear that you’ll be punished at the back for you the lack of efficiency up front, but we were well-organised until the end, even with one man down in parts.
“The relief is huge. The most important thing in the cup is making the next round. We played well, created chances and deservedly won at the end.”
…on rushing to the catacombs before the penalty shoot-out: “I quickly went to the toilette – also because it’s warmer and more quite inside. (laughs) Now I will have to wait a little bit longer to take the drug test.”
…on rituals and preparations before the shoot-out: “Most players we analysed were already subbed off. But I remembered from my time at Freiburg that Darida prefers the left side [from Bürki’s pov]. Luckily, it worked out again. I was a bit unlucky to not save the other two.”
Julian Weigl: “The game cost us a lot of energy today with the dramatic penalty shoot-out. It wasn’t easy but we made it. We’re in the next round, which counts.
Again, we let ourselves down in front of goal. We created a lot of chances, which usually is a very hard thing to do against Hertha. We lacked resoluteness upfront and conceded the goal with basically the first chance we allowed, which made things even harder. But we didn’t give up and continued to create chances. The fans were a big help today. Every won corner was rewarded with cheers, which gives you extra energy down on the field. In the end, nobody will ask how we got there, as long as we got there.
Of course, the emotional win will give us a boost. It was only the third penalty shoot-out of my career. It’s extremely tense. It’s a mixture of hope and trepidation, also trusting your team-mates, who take the shots. Luckily we had a great goalkeeper in goal with Roman. I would have been seventh in line, but I was glad that it was decided beforehand.”
Matthias Ginter: “I’m very relieved. It was a tough cup tussle. We sustained many injuries within one game, some already in the first half. Then it was Ousmane in over time. I hope it won’t be too bad and we have time to recuperate before Saturday’s match in Darmstadt.”
…on the fixture against SF Lotte: “It’s probably going to be another cup-fight with first-round character. We’ll prepare for the game as for any other game and proceed to the next round.”
More translations to follow shortly