Football

Dortmund out of Cup after getting flu bug

Flu-hit Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund crashed out of the German Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time), losing a penalty shoot-out at home to Werder Bremen following a 3-3 draw after extra time.

Goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka was Bremen's hero in the shoot-out as he saved Dortmund's opening attempts from Paco Alcacer and Maximilian Philipp as Bremen won the last-16 tie 4-2 on penalties.

It finished 1-1 over 90 minutes after Dortmund captain Marco Reus rifled home a direct free-kick to cancel out an early goal by Bremen's Milot Rashica.

The game exploded into life with four goals in extra time as Bremen twice equalised, through substitutes Claudio Pizarro and Martin Harnik, to force penalties after Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic and Achraf Hakimi had scored for Dortmund.

"It's a bitter defeat," admitted Dortmund striker Mario Goetze.

"We shouldn't have conceded two equalisers in extra time and then to lose on penalties is really tough."

Peru veteran Pizarro, who turns 41 in October, was delighted with his 56th German Cup goal.

"That will have done us good - we deserved to go through," beamed the former Chelsea and Bayern Munich striker.

Flu meant Dortmund were without England winger Jadon Sancho and defender Lukasz Piszczek, as well as first-choice goalkeeper Roman Burki and his back-up, Swiss international Marwin Hitz.

It meant third-choice goalkeeper Eric Oelschlaegel, 23, made his Dortmund debut against Bremen, the club he left last June after six years. He was beaten after just five minutes when Rashica stabbed home a Max Kruse free-kick to stun the sell-out crowd of 80,500.

Dortmund equalised just before the break when Reus fired home a direct free-kick for his 17th goal of the season.

Both sides had chances late in the second half as Oelschlaegel made a superb one-handed save from a Kruse free-kick. Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney then hit the crossbar with the 90 minutes up.

Pulisic looked to have settled the matter by netting just before the end of the first period of extra time after dribbling through the away defence.

Bremen came back with Pizarro knocking the ball home at the second attempt in a goal-mouth scramble to make it 2-2 on 108 minutes.

Dortmund regained the lead when defender Hakimi finished off a move he started on 113 minutes, but Harnik equalised in the 119th minute before Pavlenka's heroics in the shoot-out. - REUTERS

Football