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Dortmund finally clinch the Pokal & Wolfsburg survive in the playoff battle – Pokal & Playoff roundup

Playoff 1st leg 

Thursday saw the first leg of the relegation/promotion playoff, with Wolfsburg of the Bundesliga taking on local rivals Braunschweig of the 2. Bundesliga.  The wolves settled quickly and had control in the opening stages and looked most likely to score, but the scores stayed level thanks to Braunschweig keeper Jasmin Fejzic who was on a mission to keep his side in it. 

The deadlock was finally broken though thanks to Wolfsburg’s only shining light in this poor campaign. Mario Gomez put them ahead from the spot, sending Jasmin Fejzic the wrong way. Wolfsburg had more chances and could (probably should) have scored more to make put the tie to bed but couldn’t finish their opportunities. So Wolfsburg take a narrow 1-0 lead on aggregate into Mondays return leg.

Playoff 2nd leg

The second leg saw Braunschweig start the brighter team and so they should have, knowing how poor Wolfsburg have been this season and how vulnerable they have been at the back, high intensity from the start was their best opportunity in gaining promotion. With things goalless at the break, the visitors enhanced their lead with a thunderous strike from Vieirinha. The home side pushed and pushed but Wolfsburg only grew in confidence and could have finished things off but Yunus Malli and Luiz Gustavo squandered opportunities. The wolves hung on and the game ended 0-1 (2-0 on aggregate) confirming Wolfsburg’s place in the top flight next season. A chance to build upon this disappointing campaign as the club, players, fans and pundits expect so much more from them.

DFB-Pokal Final

With Frankfurt in such poor form going into this game and Dortmund in limbo as anything could happen with Tuchel’s future (Obviously we now know he has left Dortmund). However it was Dortmund who started the stronger and on 8 minutes Ousmane Dembélé broke the deadlock. That goal made something of the final and Frankfurt slowly came into the game. The more Dortmund failed to make chances pay, the more it boosted Frankfurts chances of getting something. That’s when Ante Rebić equalised for Frankfurt before things could’ve become worse for Dortmund as Haris Seferovic came close.

With things level at the break, both sides where pushing for a goal; Christian Pulisic came on for Marco Reus, who picked up an injury, and the American starlet gave his side an excellent chance. Frankfurt keeper Lukas Hradecky brought down Pulisic and BVB were awarded a penalty; who was to step up, it could only be one man, Aubameyang. The Bundesliga’s top scorer confidently chipped a delicious penalty past Hradecky to restore Dortmunds lead. It was to be his 40th goal of the season. Aubameyang came close again at the end, slipping in the area only to regain his balance and bend the ball magnificently only to be denied by the post. That didn’t matter though as Borussia Dortmund held on and were crowned winners of the DFB-Pokal 2017.

With rumours circulating that it could have been Tuchel and Aubameyang’s last games for the club, it was important they end on a high. For Dortmund fans and Bundesliga fans, it would be a huge shame if  Aubameyang leaves, he is a fantastic striker and would be a huge miss for BVB if he goes.

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