Leverkusen claims victory in the cup, securing a double triumph.

Kaiserslautern offer stiff opposition against Bayer Leverkusen in Berlin's game. Despite this, Xabi Alonso celebrates his team's triumph in an engaging cup final.

May 27, 2024
3 min read
NewsJulian NagelsmannRagnar AcheNorth Rhine-WestphaliaRobert AndrichFinalKaiserslauternBerlinPatrik SchickDFB CupGermanyRhineland-PalatinateCupBayerRudi VöllerGranit XhakaXabi AlonsoCup finalSoccerLeverkusenEuropa LeagueResistance1st FC KaiserslauternFriedhelm FunkelBeerBayer Leverkusen
Leverkusen crowned the most successful season in the club's history by winning the DFB Cup.
Leverkusen crowned the most successful season in the club's history by winning the DFB Cup.


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The sport of soccer is being played... - Leverkusen claims victory in the cup, securing a double triumph.

Xabi Alonso, the coach of Leverkusen, embraced everyone in his team as his players celebrated in front of jubilant fans. German soccer powerhouse Leverkusen captured the DFB Cup, completing a triumphant season with a double win. "I'm very proud and happy for the players," said Alonso. "They truly deserve this."

Three days after their 3-0 loss in the Europa League final against Atalanta Bergamo, Leverkusen faced tough opposition from second division team Kaiserslautern. Manuel Baum's squad didn't make it easy for the reigning champions. Odilon Kossounou picked up a yellow card in the 44th minute. "We really wanted to win this," stated Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen's sporting director. "Exceptional, exceptional," he added.

At 10:21 PM, captain and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky held up the golden trophy in the air during a rain of confetti. Granit Xhaka's stunning goal in the 16th minute secured the victory against Funkel's Kaiserslautern in front of 74,322 spectators filling the sold-out Olympiastadion. "This moment, holding up the trophy, is quite enjoyable," said Leverkusen international Robert Andrich. "It's a very cool feeling."

Bayer's second cup victory since 1993 was a well-earned prize. Kaiserslautern were hoping for a stunning upset in the 81st cup final, but ultimately fell short. Funkel, the manager of Kaiserslautern, has participated in a total of five cup finals. He failed to win the trophy for the third time as a coach, despite facing one of the most powerful teams in German football history. "Even with a man advantage, it means nothing against this team," Funkel admitted. He did not rule out this game being his last as coach.

After a disheartening loss in Dublin, Leverkusen's Xhaka instilled a sense of accountability. "Now we need to see what kind of mettle this team truly has," Xhaka said. Alonso made five changes before the match. Hradecky replaced Matej Kovar as goalkeeper, making his fourth cup final appearance. Kossounou, Andrich, Hofmann, and Schick also joined the squad.

Funkel, aware of Bayer's expected dominance, jokingly said he would park his team bus in front of his own goal. Thankfully, it never happened. Kaiserslautern fans showcased an impressive display before the game with a giant Red Devil reaching almost under the stadium roof. Later, the supporters set off banned pyrotechnics continuously.

Kaiserslautern had their first dangerous shot on target from Daniel Hanslik before entering into a passing game led by Leverkusen. Just a quarter of an hour later, Florian Wirtz created an opportunity near the edge, but his shot missed the mark. Lautern's goalkeeper Krahl attempted to save, but Xhaka scored brilliantly from about 25 meters - 1:0.

Kaiserslautern continued to chase the ball, while Leverkusen demonstrated their expected superiority. After a foul by Kossounou, a brief confusion ensued, leading to Dankert displaying a yellow card to the already cautioned defender.

Tobias Raschl capitalized on the pause in play and almost equalized, but his shot flew past the post. Funkel, who managed a surprising 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich as a player in 1985, was highly enthusiastic on the sidelines until the final moments. Moments after the break, the game was halted for several minutes due to flares and firecrackers set off by both teams' fans. As the smoke cleared, Leverkusen searched for the decisive score - but failed to exhibit the ball-magic they're famous for.

About an hour into the game, Ache missed a shot just narrowly outside of Hradecky's goal. Soon after, Hradecky miraculously saved another attempt from Ache. Lautern persisted in pushing forward, while Alonso's team struggled to maintain control. Eventually, Leverkusen triumphed as the sixth team to secure the double. In 1992, Hannover 96 was the second division club that managed to win the cup.

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