Kobel in inspired form as BVB progress past Hannover 96
By Ultan Corcoran @UltanCorcoran
2.Bundesliga side Hannover 96 welcomed Borussia Dortmund to the HDI–Arena for their second round DfB Pokal tie. Having beaten Regionalliga Südwest side Schott Mainz 0-3 in the round previous, manager Stefan Leitl was hoping to cause an almighty upset ahead of kick-off. Dortmund knocked out 1860 Munich on a similar score line but travelled to Northern Germany with several absentees. Wolf missed out through infection, captain Marco Reus was let stay in Dortmund, while Hummels, Bellingham, and Adeyemi were afforded rests on the bench.
|Gregor Kobel.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Nielsen ought to have scored and level matters on the half-hour mark. Hannover’s top goal scorer this season was kept out spectacularly by the outstretched left foot of Kobel. BVB’s Swiss shot-stopper was called into action exactly a minute later, this time foiling the best attempts of Beier. Malen and Can failed to hit the target with half chances, so to Beier at the other end, but H96 manager Leitl was left wondering how his side were behind at the break.
Similarly, to the first 45 minutes, Hannover roared out of the blocks again – Emre Can left relieved to see his intervention on Weydandt’s cross go harmlessly wide. The home team’s chances were aplenty as Dehm found Weydandt who let Dortmund off the hook for a second time, missing from 6 yards. Meunier left the field injury stricken around the hour mark as Hummels took his place. Brandt was substituted off for Bellingham as Terzic looked to regain control of the middle third.
Nielsen forced another parry from Kobel on 69 minutes. It seemed inevitable that Hannover would pull level, but no sooner said BVB were awarded a penalty. Bellingham showed experience beyond his years to draw the foul from Neumann, and slot home the spot kick to establish a 0-2 lead. Replacement Adeyemi was red carded for a blatant push on Köhn who found himself in a clear goalscoring range.
Even though ‘Die Schwarzgelben’ never looked back after doubling their advantage, once again they had to pay thanks to their in-form goalkeeper on 87 minutes. Kobel made the save of the night in this instance as Köhn’s thunderous strike was wonderfully stopped dead.