Football: Werder Bremen win DFB-Pokal

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

German team Werder Bremen won the DFB-Pokal (Germany's equivalent of the FA Cup) on Saturday night by beating Bayer Leverkusen 1–0. The win guaranteed Werder a place in the first Europa League and was their only piece of silverware this season. Werder has broken a streak of bad luck that was started by losing UEFA Cup to Shaktar Donetsk 2–1 after extra time. This was followed by a tenth-place finish in the Bundesliga via an "embarrassing" 5-1 defeat by champions VfL Wolfsburg.

File:DFB Pokal.jpg
The Deutscher Fußball-Bund Pokal (German Football Federation Cup) has been awarded yearly since 1952.

Bremen, determined to win, dominated the game on both sides of the ball, while Leverkusen seemed lazy and "lifeless". Leverkusen's best chance came after 22 minutes. Patrick Helmes found himself in front of the net with only Bremen keeper Tim Weise to beat, but he spectacularly failed to score. Bremen started pouring on the chances, with several coming just before the half. Bremen keeper René Adler had to push a header from Naldo just over the bar in injury time. The game was tied on 45 minutes.

The second half started with a powerful shot from Tranquillo Barnetta that, unfortunately for Bayer, was easily saved by Wiese. Just four minutes later, the only goal of the game was scored. Mesut Özil took a shot from a rather severe angle. The shot bounced off of Manuel Friedrich's outstretched leg and into the net. Leverkusen tried to respond, but came up just short. Stefan Kießling seemed to have a legitimate chance after 79 minutes, but it was despatched by Sebastian Prödl. Leverkusen tried one last time to score during four minutes of injury time. They were helped when referee Dr Helmut Fleischer booked Hugo Almeida and Wiese for time-wasting. Two minutes into injury time, Kießling's head missed a cross by inches, and it sailed past him and out of play. By the time four minutes were up, Werder players were begging the referee to end play. Finally, after almost five minutes of injury time, Fleischer blew the whistle and the celebrations began in Bremen.

The women's Pokal final was played earlier in the day. FCR 2001 Duisburg followed up their UEFA Women's Cup win with a 7–0 humbling of 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam. Five goals were scored in the second half. It is the biggest margin of victory in the DFB Frauen Pokal's 28-year history.

May 30, 2009
20:00 CEST (UTC+2)
Bayer Leverkusen 0 – 1 Werder Bremen Olympiastadion, Berlin
Attendance: 74,244
Referee: Dr Helmut Fleischer (Sigmertshausen)
Report Özil Scored after 58 minutes 58'