BERLIN – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a cheeky penalty for Borussia Dortmund to win the DFB-Pokal final over Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in what could have been his last game for the club on Saturday.
Aubameyang, the Bundesliga top scorer this season with 31, chipped the ball straight down the middle as Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky dived, giving Dortmund the title at the fourth attempt after losing the previous three finals.
He has been the subject of transfer speculation linking him with a big-money move away from Dortmund in the summer. He finished the season with 40 goals across all competitions.
“These are wonderful moments. Moments we worked for. It wasn’t easy. The team earned it,” said Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball, alluding to the difficulties players faced after the bomb attack on the team bus in April.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel claimed his first trophy in what was likely his last game at the club, too. Tuchel has fallen out with Dortmund’s management.
Ousmane Dembele got the side off to a great start in the eighth minute when he eluded Jesus Vallejo on the right and curled the ball inside the far post.
Police made an appeal to Dortmund fans not to celebrate with pyrotechnics after more were lit behind the west-end goal. The final had kicked off under a cloud of smoke after flares were lit among Dortmund fans.
Frankfurt gradually worked its way back into the game – Haris Seferovic and Ante Rebic both went close – before Rebic equalized in the 29th. Marco Fabian won the ball in midfield, played Mijat Gacinovic through, and Gacinovic squared the ball for Rebic to beat Roman Buerki in the Dortmund goal.
Backed by outstanding support behind the east-end goal, Frankfurt kept pushing. Seferovic hit the post after playing a one-two with Rebic.
Dortmund was forced into two changes at the break: Christian Pulisic came on for the injured Marco Reus (right knee) and Gonzalo Castro replaced Marcel Schmelzer (left thigh).
Fabian rescued Frankfurt with a goal-line clearance from Aubameyang’s overhead kick off Dembele’s dinked cross.
But Aubameyang, who’d had a quiet game, cheekily scored the winner midway through the second half after Hradecky brought down Pulisic to concede the spot kick.
Frankfurt brought on “football god” Alexander Meier for a defender in response but he was unable to get the side out of the jam.
“Of course you’re disappointed. But I also know to value it. Losing is part of football,” said Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac, whose side finished the season empty-handed.
Dortmund’s win meant Hertha Berlin qualified for the group stages of the Europa League, while Freiburg’s seventh place in the Bundesliga was enough to go into the Europa League qualifiers, as Dortmund had already qualified for the Champions League.
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