Dortmund have lost their third consecutive DFB Pokal Final in a row, and this one might feel the worst. After matching Bayern on the field for 120 minutes, two missed penalties by Sven Bender and Sokratis cost Dortmund the title.
Thomas Tuchel opted to play with three center backs, leaving Shinji Kagawa on the bench. Sven Bender often helped out in midfield, but Dortmund employed a back five for most of the match, with good effect. Sokratis had one of his best games in a Dortmund shirt, with many crucial tackles and interventions.
The first half featured very few chances, with Bayern enjoying most of the possession. Thomas Muller fizzed a shot just over the bar, but the closest either team came to scoring was when Douglas Costa rifled a shot off the bar. Lewandowski couldn't get to the rebound, but was asking for a penalty even though he was falling over before any contact was made.
Perhaps the biggest incident of the first half occurred in the 39th minute, when Franck Ribery and Gonzalo Castro had an exchange on the sidelines. Ribery bumped into Julian Weigl hard, and Castro came in hard on Ribery a second later. Out of rage, Ribery seemingly unsuccessfully attempted to gouge Castro's eyes, and both got a yellow card in the process. It looked like it should've been red for Ribery, but take a look for yourself:
Is this not a red card for Ribery???? #fcbbvb pic.twitter.com/M85LDSTkbx— Alex Greenberg (@AGreenberg22) May 21, 2016
The second half was a lot more eventful than the first, but most of the early chances fell to Bayern. Robert Lewandowski and Thiago both missed sitters, but what really hurt Dortmund were the injuries of Marcel Schmelzer and Mats Hummels. Schmelzer seemed to hyperextend his leg on a tackle on Costa, and had to be replaced by Erik Durm in the 70th minute. No later than 8 minutes after, Mats Hummels was forced off through cramps, and was replaced by Matthias Ginter.
Dortmund did get a few good chances for themselves in the second half, including the best chance of the game. In the 85th minute, Reus latched onto a pass down the right wing and sent in a beautiful cross to Aubameyang who, unmarked, volleyed it over the bar. Aubameyang probably had time to take a touch, but instead opted for the side footed volley that didn't come off.
As the game went on into extra time, Sokratis and Erik Durm came in clutch, defending for their lives. Durm had a superb tackle on Lewandowski, who was through on goal, and blocked his shot and ultimately saved a likely goal. Sokratis, who was fantastic for all 120 minutes, bossed Kingsley Coman off the ball to top off his incredible night. Dortmund's best chance of winning looked like it would be through penalties, and they held out till the end of extra time.
Extra time substitute Shinji Kagawa took and scored the opening penalty, which Vidal matched. However, Sven Bender and Sokratis were unable to convert their penalties, giving Bayern an advantage they never looked back on. One might question why two defenders were chosen to take penalties before Reus and Aubameyang (Mkhitaryan didn't take one), but you have to assume Tuchel thought that they had the best chance of converting them.
Sokratis had to take a penalty because of the game he was having, and Bender isn't really that weird of a choice. It was an extremely disappointing end to a match that Dortmund played their tail off in. The team can hold their head high because of their performance on the day, but it's no consolation. Bayern might be considered deserved winners because of the amount of possession, but Dortmund defended superbly, as shown by this xG map.
xG map for the Pokal final. Neither side can really complain about this one going to penalties. pic.twitter.com/5iJsCiXlu6— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) May 21, 2016
Overall, there's a feeling of emptiness with no trophies after such a great season. It was always going to be a tall task to defeat Bayern, and Dortmund came up just short.