Gabon's Aubameyang leads Dortmund to German Cup triumph

Reuters , Saturday 27 May 2017

Dortmund players celebrate after winning the German Cup (DFB Pokal) final football match Eintracht Frankfurt v BVB Borussia Dortmund at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on May 27, 2017 AFP

Borussia Dortmund snapped their German Cup jinx when they edged past Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 on Saturday to win the trophy after losing the three previous finals, and end their eventful season on a high.

Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, linked with a move away from the Ruhr valley club this summer, either side of Ante Rebic's equaliser gave Dortmund, who finished third in the Bundesliga, their first Cup win since their 2012 domestic double.

The victory completed an amazing turnaround for Dortmund whose season looked in tatters following a bomb attack on the team bus in April that left defender Marc Bartra injured and the team in shock.

But coach Thomas Tuchel kept his players motivated and hungry until the end.

"I am empty, completely empty now," said Tuchel, whose future is unclear after a row with club bosses. "It was a hard piece of work. It was not our best game but we did it."

"After what happened (with the attack) to constantly overcome obstacles and then to come here and win is something very special for us," he said, adding he would like to stay on at Dortmund. "Yes, definitely I would like to stay on."

It was the first trophy for Tuchel, who joined in 2015, and for winger Marco Reus, considered among the most talented players of his generation but who had lost four finals since arriving in 2012, including the 2013 Champions League final.

Dortmund's victory also meant Freiburg, seventh in the Bundesliga, will compete in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Dortmund enjoyed a strong start with Dembele picking up a Lukasz Piszczek pass down the right and wrong-footing a defender before curling his shot into the far corner.

Frankfurt needed some time to recover and they did it with their first chance when Rebic was sent through with a superb Mijat Gacinovic pass to beat Roman Buerki.

They almost got a second in the 39th but Haris Severovic's low shot bounced off the post with dazed Dortmund desperate for the halftime whistle.

"We played a good game over 90 minutes," said Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac. "They were better in the second half. Details decide finals. We hit the post, then came the penalty."

Dortmund regrouped after the break despite having to substitute Reus, who picked up a knee injury.

Aubameyang almost put them ahead with a spectacular bicycle kick but it was cleared on the line and then bounced off the post.

Dortmund earned a penalty in the 67th and Aubameyang, in what could be his last appearance for the team, chipped in the spot kick to cap a memorable season.

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