Berlin, May 22 (IANS) Bayern Munich have crowned the football season 2015-2016 with the domestic double after beating Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on penalties in the German Cup final here.
With the victory at the Olympic stadium on Saturday, the Bavarian giants ensured a worthy send-off for their chief coach Josep Guardiola, who leaves the club after three years to join English Premier League (EPL) heavyweights Manchester City.
For Bundesliga winners Bayern, Arturo Vidal, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Mueller and Douglas Costa converted their penalties in the shootout to wrap up the 11th domestic double of the club’s history.
Meanwhile, Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund ended their campaign without a title after suffering the third consecutive loss in the German Cup final.
From the kick-off both sides were focused to make no mistakes, which could possibly cost the title. As a result, goal-scoring opportunities remained a rare occurrence in the opening period. Things changed with 22 minutes into the game as Thomas Mueller’s header came close before Douglas Costas tested Dortmund custodian Roman Buerki with a long-range effort.
Dortmund were still in search for their rhythm, which is why Thomas Tuchel’s men had to wait until the 43rd minute before Sven Bender worked out the first chance after pulling his volley wide from inside the box.
After the restart, both teams piled on the pressure yet it were the “Bavarians” who set the tone as Franck Ribery, Costa, Lewandowski and Philipp Lahm kept Dortmund goalkeeper Buerki busy. Dortmund tried to respond but neither Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nor Marco Reus were able to make the most of their chances at the hour mark.
In the extra time, Polish Lewandowski came close to break the deadlock but Erik Durm’s last minute tackle maintained parity.
Bayern created the next threatening opportunity through Alaba, whose shot on target was saved by Buerki. Thus, after goalless 120 minutes the penalty shootout had to bring the decision.
Youngster Joshua Kimmich squandered the only penalty for Bayern, while goalkeeper Manuel Neuer denied Dortmund’s Sven Bender before Sokratis Papastathopoulos rattled the left post to seal Bayern’s 18th German Cup title as Costa converted the fourth and final shot from the spot.
“Everything can happen in the penalty shootout. Nevertheless, we are happy that we overcame Dortmund in the end,” Guardiola said.
“I had three great years here and I wish the club all the best for the next years.”
Dortmund coach Tuchel said: “We did not show our best performance today. We failed to press Bayern into defense. There is room for improvement.”