Last night, Borussia Dortmund went through to the final of the DFB Pokal at the expense of Greuther Fürth.
They didn’t make it easy for themselves, however.
The only goal of the game came in the last minute of injury time when Ilkay Gündogan’s deflected shot gave Dortmund the win.
The game had been a close one, with both sides showing some nerves at the beginning, clearly not wanting to make any mistakes that could jeopardize their team’s chances of progression.
Both of these sides are at top of their respective divisions, with Greuther Fürth looking likely to win promotion to the first Bundesliga this season.
However, Dortmund’s quality began to show as the first half wore on. They were able to create some good chances with Fürth being able to find no reply.
After halftime it was more of the same, with Dortmund piling on the pressure and Fürth being forced to defend heavily, not being able to create any attacking opportunities of their own.
Despite the pressure, they held on and took Dortmund through to extra time for another half hour of football.
For the next 30 minutes, neither team could break the deadlock.
As the final whistle approached, with everyone expecting a tense penalty shootout, Gündogan finally made the difference for Dortmund.
He received the ball in space, on the edge of the penalty area and hit a hard, low drive to the left hand side of the goal.
With Fejzić, Fürth’s newly substituted goalkeeper, already diving to make the save, the ball cannoned off the post and struck his outstretched arm and bobbled into his own net.
Having defended so stoically for 120 minutes, Fürth finally found themselves behind and Dortmund booked their place in the cup final in Berlin.
Such relief for Jürgen Klopp’s side, heartbreak for Greuther Fürth.
But it is these moments that make cup competitions so compelling.
Tonight, Dortmund will find out who their opponents in the final will be, as Bayern Munich take on Borussia Mönchengladbach.
For now though, their work in the DFB Pokal is done, and they can look forward to appearing in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on 12th May.
There’s just the small matter of winning the Bundesliga to attend to first…
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