German Supercup: Dortmund vs. Bayern
The DFL-Supercup is the annual curtain-raiser for German football, pitting the winner of the previous season's Bundesliga champions and DFB-Pokal (German Cup) champions. This year, that means that arch rivals FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will face off for the early season trophy, with BVB manager Brian Laudrup to take charge of his first ever match in professional management.
Both teams named very strong starting elevens, however, Dortmund were missing a few big names recovering from minor injuries sustained over the summer. The likes of Mats Hummels and Roman Weidenfeller missed out, allowing Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mitchell Langerak to fill in. The full starting lineups are as follows:
Borussia Dortmund Team News
Starting XI (4-2-3-1)
: Langerak; Piszczek, Papastathopoulos, Subotic, Schmelzer; Jojic, Bender; Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Bellarabi; Immobile
: Bonmann, Stankovic, Kirch, Kehl, Kagawa, Gyau, Ramos
Bayern Munich Team News
Starting XI (4-1-4-1)
: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; Rode; Muller, Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Gotze; Lewandowski
: Reina, Benatia, Ribery, Robben, Hojbjerg, Bernat, Alonso
Despite Dortmund's slightly weakened lineup, they were the fastest out of the gates and looked very dangerous on the counterattack from the very first few minutes. Fourteen minutes in, der BVB showed just how dangerous when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang beat David Alaba for pace down the right flank and picked out Henrikh Mkhitaryan with his cross; the Armenian midfielder made no mistake with the finish, clinically giving Dortmund a 1-0 lead.
From this point, Bayern started growing pack into the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger especially started making his mark on the game, getting on the ball more and starting to spray passes across the field with his usual accuracy. It was Thomas Muller's long ball over the top, however, that proved crucial. Robert Lewandowski beat Sokratis with a step of pace before rifling past Mitch Langerak to equalize for the reigning German champions.
Schweinsteiger's growing influence in the game, however, was quite tragically cut short for Bayern fans in the 70th minute. Serbian youngster Milos Jojic nutmegged the Germany international, and in a moment of madness, Schweinsteiger lashed out at Jojic and was shown a straight red card.
Just nine minutes to time, Borussia Dortmund made that man advantage count. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was at the heart of the goal again, laying the ball forward for Lukasz Piszczek to hammer into the top corner from fifteen yards, an incredible finish to give Dortmund a late one-goal lead over their ten-men arch rivals.
It seemed over...and then Xabi Alonso struck. Another long ball was played over the top by Die Bayern, and Robert Lewandoswki was first to react once more. This time, the ex-Dortmund striker chested the ball into the path of Xabi Alonso to volley from 25 yards into the bottom right corner, leaving Langerak with no chance, and stunning the Dortmund faithful with an absolutely beautiful equalizer.
Xabi Alonso hit a wonder volley on his Bayern Munich debut, scoring a late equalizer and silencing the Borussia Dortmund fans who were ready to celebrate another win.
The DFL-Supercup has no extra time, and so the teams went straight into penalties when the final whistle blew to signal the end of ninety minutes. After the first five penalties each, the teams were still deadlocked at 4-4, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missing an early penalty with Javi Martinez skying a chance to seal the win.
Arjen Robben took the sixth penalty for Bayern Munich. The Dutch winger stepped up calmly and hit a perfect mix of power and accuracy, guiding the ball into the top left corner with ease and composure. Lukasz Piszczek, who had scored Dortmund's go-ahead goal in regular time, stepped up to keep Dortmund in the game, only to see his shot ricochet off the post and go wide. Bayern had won, 5-4 in penalties after a 2-2 draw in regular time.
"Obviously we are very disappointed," said Brian Laudrup after the game, his first ever in professional management. "We played really well at times, but a few defensive lapses on long balls and we paid the price. Nobody likes to lose in penalties, it's a lottery. But, overall, I am very proud of the team, and today is a sign that we could do very well this year. Let Bayern be warned...next time we will not let them back into the game."