November 21, 2017

Holstein Kiel 0 – 4 Borussia Dortmund: Klopp’s men cruise to an easy win

Borussia Dortmund put an end to this year’s Cinderella story and defeated fourth tier team Holstein Kiel.

Cottbus, Duisburg and Mainz were supposedly dealt an easy game when they had to travel up north to take on the Storks who play in the fourth division at the moment. On all three occasions the team from Schleswig-Holstein managed to pull off a surprise and went through to the next round. In the first 270 minutes of DFB Pokal football Kiel keeper Morten Jensen managed to keep a clean sheet, proving that he might have picked up a thing or two when he was playing together with Robert Enke at Hannover 96.

The cold which has settled over Northern-Germany made the playing surface rock hard according to Roman Weidenfeller, who told a reporter of the German broadcaster ARD shortly before kick off. In their previous cup matches Holstein Kiel might have had a slight advantage given that their home turf isn’t standard of the art, making the life of Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga teams difficult given that those sides are used to a better standard. However, given the fact that Dortmund have only won the cup twice, the last time being in 1989, there shouldn’t have been anything in the way of the Dortmund players motivation going into this match.

Line ups:

Holstein Kiel:  Jensen – Herrmann, Jürgensen, Berzel, Poggenberg – Kazior, Müller – Chahed(Sachs 81’), Sykora, Lindner(Wetter 85’) – Heider(Wulff 83’)

Borussia Dortmund: Langerak – Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Leitner, Kehl – Blaszczykowski(Grosskreutz 69’), Kagawa(Gündogan 82’), Perisic – Lewandowski(Barrios 69’)

First half: Two early goals deciding the match

Holstein Kiel took a different approach from the attacking football they usually play in the Regionalliga, and chose to wait for counter attackers. Kiel’s full backs were instructed to be wary about runs down the line, while Chahed and Lindner often dropped back to help defend. Borussia Dortmund took a more attacking approach in their 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kiel had the first chance of the game in the 8th when Heider managed to pick up a misplaced pass by Subotic (who at times struggled to deal with the pitch) which he then forwarded to Fiete Sykora. The attacking midfielders excellent through ball reached Heider in the box, but the young and talented striker didn’t manage to get the ball past Langerek from a bit of angle from roughly 9 meters. This is the closest Kiel were going to get throughout the entire 90 minutes.

Two minutes later a cross into the penalty area by Sebastian Piszcek wasn’t cleared far enough by Aaron Brezel. The ball landed at Ivan Perisic feet, and the Croat tried to shoot with his back to the goal, coincidentally finding Robert Lewandowski who managed to put the ball into the net from 9 meters, leaving Morten Jensen no chance of keeping his clean sheet in the cup competition.

Seven minutes later Dortmund managed to create their second good attack of the game. Sebastian Kehl found Sebastian Piszcek in acres of space on the right hand side with a beautifully executed diagonal pass. The Pole cut the ball back into the penalty area, finding Shinji Kagawa who had no problems doubling the lead with a lovely and well placed shot.

After Dortmund had taken this commanding 2 goal lead Jürgen Klopp’s men were happy to sit back, defending their lead trying to catch Holstein Kiel on the counter every now and then.

Second half: Kiel try their best to no avail

An eventless second half saw the hosts trying their best to get around the Dortmund defense with little effect. Only 10 minutes before the final whistle did things start to get heated. A cross from Kagawa found Perisic on the left hand side. The former Brugge man crossed the ball into the area and found Lucas Barrios 2 meters in front of goal tucking the third one into the net.

Three minutes from time Kiel managed to gift away the fourth goal of the game: After a tackle by Jürgensen Kiel keeper Jensen chose to pick up the ball with his hands 7 meters in front of goal. Referee Felix Zwayer blew for an in-direct free kick. Funnily enough, Kiel chose to leave the right hand side of their goal almost unguarded, giving Perisic the opportunity to thrash the ball into this corner.

Conclusion: An easy ride to the semi finals for Dortmund

Kiel were this season’s Cinderella story in the DFB Pokal. Some of their players, namely goalkeeper Jensen, midfielders Lindner and Sykora and the attacker Heider have shown some promise competing against oppositions from higher tiers. It wouldn’t surprise anybody if these players might find their way into the 3. Liga or the 2. Bundesliga. Kiel’s squad is still young, and at the moment they seem to have an excellent foundation going into the future.

Jürgen Klopp’s men managed to focus from the first minute on this difficult task, only allowing Kiel one chance to get a goal throughout the entire match. The Borussians were effective in front of goal, and dealt with the difficult ground conditions well.  The Storks can on their side leave the competition with their heads held high, knowing they managed to defeat three quality oppositions from the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Dortmund weren’t allowing the northerners to get into the game, and play their counter attacking game.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 30-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball and on the @AufstiegPod.

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