Eintracht Frankfurt moves into the semi-finals of the DFB Cup. Werder Bremen struggles again with a referee decision. There had been upset in advance. The fans react in their own way.

Florian Kohfeldt couldn’t believe it. He pulled his hair out and threw his water bottle indignantly on the floor. Again there had been a referee decision against his team, another video evidence. Referee Felix Zwayer watched the controversial scene for a long time, seemed insecure and then decided on a penalty against Werder Bremen.

Ludwig Augustinsson jumped the ball over his head in the penalty area, so the decision is correct. “I’m going into a header duel, it’s bigger. I’m very disappointed with this situation. I’m not a fan of the VAR,” said Augustinsson on ARD. André Silva made the penalty in stoppage time of the first half unsustainable to 1-0 for Eintracht Frankfurt. It was the key scene of the game that Eintracht finally won by another goal from Daichi Kamada (60th minute) 2-0 (1-0) and thus entered the semi-finals of the DFB Cup.

DFB Cup as a ray of hope   

If Kohfeldt were under contract with another club, he would have had to worry about his job for a long time. But he has been the head coach in Bremen since 2017. And there the clocks tick more slowly, more deliberately than elsewhere in Germany’s highest football league. Five of the six second-round games were lost. Significantly, the only two Werder goals were scored by the opponents – by own goal. 

Football DFB Cup Eintracht Frankfurt - Werder Bremen (Getty Images / A. Grimm)Bremen’s appearance was painful – for fans as well as for the protagonists

It is not going at all in the Bundesliga for the penultimate table, who had to cope with many setbacks in the relegation battle – the usual bad luck of those who are already in the bottom anyway. But there was also a victory with its own goals this year: the 3: 2 against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Cup round of 16 in early February. 

Werder not only shows a completely different face in the cup this season than in the league: In the past season, the Bremen team only failed in the semi-finals at Bayern, before that they were eliminated in the quarterfinals against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. 

Will you be disadvantaged by postponing the game?

Florian Kohfeldt had also calculated a lot against Frankfurt. It was a different competition, you could only win, he said in advance and used the involuntary break, about which Bremen had complained massively, for several secret training sessions. And only revealed so much: there were repetitions, repetitions, repetitions. So that the simplest automatisms sit again. 

Last Sunday, Frankfurt, and Bremen should have met in the league. However, since the Europa League match had been postponed one day during the week due to the weather, the DFL canceled the game and postponed it without committing to a catch-up date. Werder saw himself disadvantaged as a result – in the league and the DFB Cup, one had hoped for an opponent exhausted by the European Cup. 

The Werder coach then tried to change the frustration of the season into a “now more than ever” mood. “You can turn the overall situation so positively that you say: There has been resistance against us again this season through no fault of our own. And we want to show it to everyone!”

Half time hope

Football DFB Cup Eintracht Frankfurt - Werder Bremen (Imago / J. Huebner)Toprak was injured after a foul

At first, it worked. Werder was in a good position, faced the expected attack force in Frankfurt with calm and came to Davie Selke in the 35th minute to the best chance. “We have performed well, we have scored chances and we have to concede the goal over a standard. This is repeated,” said a visibly disappointed Selke after the game on Sky.

Time went by, the fans brought themselves into play with actions. The Eintracht supporters presented a banner with which they protested against the DFB and the DFL in reference to the incidents on the Bundesliga weekend: “Our football is sold by you, your dialogue is only noise and smoke. The officials are the ugly face of football, not the fans. ” And they showed humor with another poster, which was directed at Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter: “Adi, get in touch when you need a break.”

However, the game did not have to be interrupted because it was a tie after the penalty. Kohfeldt knew that too. He saw the yellow card because of his violent reaction to the controversial penalty kick. And asked the referee of the game briskly: “May I also give you yellow, Mr. Zwayer?” Filip Kostic put the endpoint in injury time with a heavy foul on Ömer Toprak, whereupon Kostic saw the red card and Toprak had to get out injured. Werder, who had changed three times, continued to play ten. And so this time it was a pitch-black evening for Kohfeldt and Werder.


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