The outsider prevails: Werder Bremen moves into the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup with a narrow victory against Borussia Dortmund. Even BVB young star Erling Haaland cannot prevent the surprising knockout.
Before the game, there was only one topic: Erling Haaland. The 19-year-old Norwegian in BVB dress is the shooting star of the Bundesliga. Seven goals in the first three games, what a debut! “We want to take the euphoria with us,” said Dortmund’s sports director immediately before the DFB Cup round of 16 at Werder Bremen in an ARD interview. “He should go on like this.” But BVB coach Lucien Favre initially put Haaland on the substitution bench. “We have to keep an eye on him,” said the Swiss. “He is only 19.”
Favre had no idea how the first half would go in Bremen. Werder, in the middle of the relegation battle in the Bundesliga, played aggressively and cheekily – and scored twice: Davie Selke just returned from Hertha BSC to the Weser, made it 1-0 (16th), Leonardo Bittencourt with a dream goal from 20 meters even the 2: 0 (30th). The Bremen stadium was upside down – like the game: the outsider led. And Haaland? Warmed up during the break – and came on at the start of the second half. BVB coach Favre had apparently realized that he didn’t have to watch out for the 19-year-old that evening, but rather not to lose the game.
A goal, huge opportunity to equalize
Haaland delivered. In the 67th minute, he pushed the ball from a short distance to 1: 2 from the BVB perspective over the line. His eighth goal in the fourth game, an incredible odds. “To be honest, I’m just doing my job,” the Norwegian said succinctly before the game. But he does an excellent job. After Haaland’s goal it was a real cup fight. Bremen struck back: 3-1 through Milot Rashica (70th). Then only 3: 2, after another dream goal, contributed by the only 17-year-old BVB talent Giovanni Reyna (78th). A game on the knife blade.
And almost always when it got dangerous in the Werder penalty area, Haaland wasn’t far. He impressed not only with his physical presence and risk of scoring but also with clever passes on his teammates. There were huge opportunities in Dortmund. The largest to compensate Haaland himself, in the third minute of stoppage time: After a flying header from the Norwegian Werder goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka saved the outsider’s victory with a brilliant parade. BVB is out of the cup. But the Haaland success story will probably continue.
The other results from Tuesday in the DFB Cup round of 16:
Eintracht Frankfurt – RB Leipzig 3: 1 (1: 0)
1.FC Kaiserslautern – Fortuna Düsseldorf 2: 5 (2: 1)
FC Schalke 04 – Hertha BSC 3: 2 nV (2: 2, 0: 2)