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Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern 2 (aet)

Deadly Luca fires Bayern to 14th Cup triumph

Luca Toni’s fourth brace in four games saw Bayern complete the first stage of their quest for a triple with an extra-time DFB German Cup final win over resilient Dortmund.

The 74,244 full house at the imposing Berlin Olympic stadium saw Toni hand his side an 11th-minute lead with his 34th goal of term in all competitions, but any similarity to last Sunday’s thumping Bayern win over the same opponents ended there as an obdurate Dortmund side more than matched the men in red in an absorbing first half.

Prolific Luca

Miroslav Klose twice came within inches of doubling the advantage as Munich went for the jugular after the restart, but Borussia survived and fought back as the match increasingly took on a thrilling end-to-end character, although the Bavarians looked to have preserved their slender lead until Mladen Petric scrambled an equaliser two minutes into stoppage time.

Bayern regained the lead 13 minutes into extra-time courtesy of Toni’s predatory instincts in and around the box, and the Reds’ position was further strengthened on 108 minutes when BVB defender Jakub Blaszczykowski received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. The setback finally took the wind out of the underdogs' sails and Munich comfortably negotiated the last few minutes to register a record 14th domestic Cup triumph.

Reds at full strength

Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzeld, poised to join an elite group of coaches on three Cup wins, restored the trusted stars who took a rest against Frankfurt in midweek and started with what has evolved into the Bundesliga leaders’ first-choice line-up, albeit without long-term absentee Hamit Altintop.

Oliver Kahn, seeking to become the first player to win six Cup winners’ medals, returned in goal behind a back four featuring Philipp Lahm, Martin Demichelis, Lucio and Christian Lell, with seasoned campaigners Zé Roberto and Mark van Bommel anchoring the midfield. In the attacking department, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger filled the wide positions, with Klose declared fit to partner Toni up front.

For Dortmund, coach Thomas Doll shuffled the side thumped 5-0 in Munich last week, bringing in veteran centre-half Robert Kovac, a Cup winner with the Bavarians in the past, at the expense of current Bayern talent Mats Hummels, currently on an 18-month loan with Borussia.

Toni on target

Once referee Knut Kircher had whistled play underway on a mild spring evening in the German capital, the men in red were the quicker to settle and Lahm tested BVB keeper Marc Ziegler from distance after just five minutes.

But Dortmund were a far more solid proposition than last Sunday, and it took a stunning 40-yard crossfield pass from Van Bommel on 11 minutes to release Ribery from BVB’s defensive shackles, the France superstar haring towards the byline before squaring for Toni to thump home the opener from close range.

Demichelis headed into Ziegler’s arms and Klose twice nodded wide of the target midway through the first half, but chances were thin on the ground and the Bavarians eased back a shade to regroup on the half-hour.

Unlucky Klose

Borussia now emerged from their shell and Kahn got down smartly to a Florian Kringe snap shot, before referee Kircher waved aside shouts for a penalty when Demichelis bundled into Alexander Frei, although the Swiss hitman was in any case ruled offside.

The Ruhr side continued to press and Kringe fired over after Blaszczykowski had robbed Lahm 20 yards from goal, but Dortmund’s best chance came a minute from the break when long-serving Brazilian Dede wriggled into the box and laid off for fellow-countryman Tinga on the six-yard line, but the pair’s national captain Lucio hurled himself to make a superb block.

Hitzfled clearly had words with his men at half-time as the Bavarians mounted a concerted assault on the Dortmund goal after the restart, but Klose shaved the post with a free header on 51 minutes and saw his next effort hacked off the line by Blaszczykowski, before Ziegler raced from goal to thwart Toni’s gallop.

Thrilling end to normal time

Inspired by the narrow escape, Borussia barrelled forward and the game entertained an entertaining phase, Kringe coming into his own for the club he joined at the age of 12 with a dangerous cross, a shot gathered by Kahn at the second attempt, and a header into the side-netting.

Schweinsteiger arrowed a drive just too high and Tinga’s slip caused a shot to go wide as the action continued thick and fast, before Lukas Podolski replaced the tiring Klose with 20 minutes to go. The sub was denied by a desperate Kovac block on the line after Ziegler could only push out Ribery’s angled drive, before Willy Sagnol took over from Schweinsteiger as Hitzfeld looked to protect the slender lead at the end.

Borussia threw every man forward in a desperate late effort to save the day, but Bayern looked to have stood firm until failing to clear their lines from Dede’s corner deep into stoppage time, Petric latching onto Christian Wörns’ header back into the mix and volleying over the line via the legs of Lucio and Lahm.

Individual class

The first ten minutes of extra-time were an evenly-matched affair, before Kahn excelled with a superb diving save to push a stinging Kringe effort round the post, sub Nelsen Valdez blasting over the bar from the ensuing corner.

But Bayern raced up the other end and edged back into the lead after 103 minutes, that man Toni diverting a Podolski effort over the line from six yards with Ziegler wrong-footed.

The Borussia cause was dealt a severe blow when Blaszczykowski, earlier booked for diving, earned a second yellow card and a dismissal for a blatant foul on Lell, and only a fine Ziegler reaction save prevented Podolski making the game safe with five minutes to go. It was not to matter, as the men from Munich saw out time for a tight but ultimately deserved win.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley