Compulsory Task fulfilled
„Surely it was no outstanding game. Evidently we have to improve our conversion of chances. I didn’t have any doubt about getting to the next round, even after 70 minutes.” - Jürgen Klopp
There is not much more to say about the game than what our Choach did. We did our job, we didn’t do it too well, but standing there in the stadium I didn’t have a doubt either that we wouldn’t make it and it didn’t feel like my fellow Borussia fans were anxious either.
Even though we were clearly dominating with statistics like 23 to 2 shots at goal, 649 : 87 completed passes, 80% ball possession and of course 3 goals to zero. Still our boys had a hard time to overcome the great defense and willpower that Wilhelmshaven, a team from the 4th division of the “Fussball Bundesliga”, put up. So don’t be ashamed if you didn’t know our opponent yet, why should you, but you may want to remember the name of their goalkeeper: Siegl. But let’s start from the beginning.
When we arrived at the Stadium it was obvious that the organizers where in over their heads. There was no guidance where to go and so, when we were standing in line to get in, a lot of fans pushed past us in the different direction. They’ve just waited for at least 1 hour to be told that they had to go to a different entrance. So we stood there 1 hour as well and as we finally got in saw that the stadium was already full, fans were hanging on fences to get a better viewpoint. The stadium, a capacity for 7500 people, was sold out for 8000 people. I don’t have to point out that this was clearly because they wanted to make some extra money. However we managed to get a good standing place in the middle of the crowd, as experienced supporters, we knew some pushing is always needed to get to a good place. The next thing I was waiting for was some chanting, “the unity” wasn’t there, but I was sure, we would do well even without them.
I was proven wrong. The game of course was not really helping, neither to increase our volume nor our chanting and the first half an hour was quite decent considering that we had no capo. But you can all imagine what the game and atmosphere must have been like, when we started, after 30 minutes into the game, to celebrate a Japanese substitute player of Wilhelmshaven with chants of Kagawa Shinji. Of course it was fun and we all had a laugh, but I felt like we should support our team. The game was like the statistics already showed: Dortmund dominated, but was struggling to create chances and especially goals. Mitch Langerak started as expected for Weidenfeller. And Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was playing right winger. The latter had the first chance for a leading goal as he emerged unengaged in front of Wilhelmshaven’s goalkeeper, who was in my opinion the best player on the field, but was stopped by the just mentioned Siegl (16.). Another chance had Nuri Sahin with a free-kick on goal, which was saved by Siegl as well (38.). The only other worth mentioning chance had Aubameyang with a header after a corner-kick, served by Gündogan, which was also brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper of Wilhelmshaven.
What followed was the most quiet half-time pause I ever witnessed from our fans of Borussia. The absence of “the unity” as well the heat and the slow pace of the game left everyone in an idle state. But I thought, “We will be even louder when our boys come back on the field!” However it got even worse, except for some occasional shouts there was nothing for the first 15 minutes of the second half. Not one chant only quietness. I never, in my 12 years of stadium experience as a Borussia fan, witnessed something like that before. I wished for “the unity” to be here, to arouse us from our sleep and help our boys on the field to win this match.
Then finally, like a wake-up call, 2 chances in quick succession, one corner-kick was placed directly onto goal by Marco Reus (65.) but was well saved by Siegl. And one minute later it was again Reus serving a ball into the penalty area onto Aubameyang whose header onto goal was again caught by the goalkeeper (66.). That was enough to bring us, the fans, back to life and chants throughout the stadium were finally back.
Only 5 minutes later, as if triggered by the new atmosphere, our well known midfielder Kevin Großkreutz took heart and hammered the ball into the net from 14 meters distance (71 min.). From then on it was target practice, because the exceptional fighting spirit of Wilhelmshaven, who did a great job at defending, was finally broken. Duksch scored for 2:0 at the 83. minute mark. He was brilliantly served by Hofmann who did a great solo and then passed the ball into the back of the penalty area, where Duksch only had to put his foot in to score his first DFB-Pokal goal. 7 minutes later it was Lewandowski who scored a goal as he chipped the ball past the out of his goal hastening keeper. And that was the end to this match. Neither the team was celebrating it with us nor did we celebrate it much after the final whistle.
Borussia Dortmund did their job and we are in the next round. And I am quite sure that the performance of us and our boys on Saturday against Augsburg will be as good as it has always been, the way we all enjoy and love it. Aside from that we can't conclude much from this match. What we can is that Aubameyan is a great new asset to our team, but has to get better at his finish. The game also made it clear that Homann and maybe even Duksch can really be of value to us this season and will hopefully not end like Bittencourt and Leitner did. But the most important thing may be, that we always have to do our best, against every opponent to win our games. And at last we can conclude that the abscense of "the Unity" means less atmosphere, but I suppose that was to be expected.
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Sahin, Kehl (58. Duksch) - Aubameyang (77. Hofmann), Gündogan (82. Bender), Reus - Lewandowski
coach: Jürgen Klopp
Wilhelmshaven: Siegl - Plendiskis, Hyde, Eleftheriadis, Tietz - Siala, Alfieri - Jahdadic (69. Kawachi), Tietz, Buduar (74. Abou Kahlil) - Loheider (58. Scheffler)
Goals: 1-0 Groskreutz (71., right-footed), 2-0 Duksch (83., right-footed, Hofmann), 3-0 Lewandowski (90., Lewandowski, Hofmann)
Yellow cards: - / Jahdadic, Tietz, Siala
Referee: Benjamin Brand
Attendance: 8000 (Jadestadion, sold out)