Borussia Dortmund beat Greuther Fürth 1-0 in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup. The match was played at a sold out (15,500) Trolli-Arena in Fürth. It was largely a boring match, with not too many chnces, although Dortmund as usual wasted a few good ones. Just when the match looked to go into penalties, Ilkay Gündogan blasted from just outside the box. His shot rocketed off the lower post and hit the back of diving Greuther Fürth GK Max Grün (who had earlier made a brilliant diving save off a header)…and bounced into the goal. Win for Dortmund, heartbreak for Greuther Fürth, who would have essentially qualified for the Euro-Liga with the win…
Wednesday id the 2nd semi-final, Gladbach hosting Bayern. Gladbachers try and make it 3 wins over Bayern, but the latter have been on fire lately. Hopefully more interesting than today’s snoozer.
In 3.Liga makeup match, Kickers Offenbach disappointed with a 1-1 against Carl Zeiss Jena. Actually the struggling Easterners looked to have a win, as they jumped out too an early lead and then held on until the final seconds of injury time. Result really helps neither side, in terms of promotion (Offenbach) or survival (Jena). The 5,452 fans at the Bieberer Berg (now ridiculously known officially as “Sparda-Bank-Hessen-Stadion am Bieberer Berg”) were clearly not too happy at the blown opportunity for Kickers.
Head coach Marco Kurz was fired by 1.FC Kaiserslautern. No real surprise here, as FCK basically has sucked. Not sure it’s his fault though, because it’s not as if the talent is flowing from a spigot at the pub. They’ve only managed a pathetic 17 goals in 26 matches. How do you expect to stay up? (Well, at least they’re better than last place Greek Super-Liga side Doxa Drama, having only tallied 9 times in 25 matches…) No word on who will be the successor, most likely it will be somebody recently fired like Stanislawski or Skibbe, Pick the former if you want to rebuild in the 2.Liga, the latter if you want to visit towns in the 3.Liga, hehehe. One rumour is ex-Stuttgart great Krassimir Balakov. No serious, no announcements, except that GM (FCK legend) Stefan Kuntz says they’ll do everything possible to avoid relegation. (Tip: Check out those Bundesbahn train schedules for the 2.Liga cities…)
Schalke continues to wrestle with contracts. GM Horst Heldt is expected to offer big money to extend Klaas-Jaan Huntelaar‘s deal, which ends in 2013. Huntelaar was hot stuff, but then went off to Spain and sucked. But he’s really got back on target at Schalke. Despite a broken nose and other injury problems, he’s managed 38 goals in 38 league and Cup matches over two seasons. On the other hand, the betting is on Schalke to let Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan go. Obviously the Blues would like to keep him, but Farfan apparently has his eyes on a big move. A contract through 2013 has been offered to Spanish legend Raul. He’s immensely popular with the fans, but he hasn’t committed. Overall, Schalke’s turnover last season was some 200 million euros, and player’s cost was about 95 million. Given the heavy debt from building the stadium, they really can’t afford to go crazy, so they can’t go too much higher.