Borussia Dortmund has played second fiddle to Bayern Munich on and off the field so often in recent years that one victory was cause for major celebration. Its 3-2 win on Wednesday in the German Cup
semifinals was special.
In 2016, Dortmund finished second to Bayern -- by 10 points -- in the Bundesliga, lost to Bayern -- on penalty kicks -- in the German Cup final and lost to -- yes
-- Bayern in the German Super Cup.
Dortmund's record is three second-place Bundesliga finishes behind Bayern in the last four seasons and three straight runner-up finishes (twice to
Bayern) in the German Cup.
Its German Cup win came less than three weeks after Bayern beat Dortmund, 4-1, at the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga.
Bayern looked to be cruising
to another win on Wednesday night, leading 2-1 at halftime with an overwhelming edge in possession. But it paid a price for missed chances by Robert Lewandowski
and Arjen Robben
French teenager Ousmane Dembele
was no factor in the game until he set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
for the equalizer in the 69th minute and scored a brilliant winner himself five
minutes later. Christian Pulisic
came on for the last 10 minutes and helped preserve the win that moves Dortmund into the final May 27 in Berlin against Timmy Chandler
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti
said his team had only itself to blame for the defeat.
"We had many chances to decide the game," he said. "We missed
out on making it 3-1 and that was our mistake." Thomas Tuchel
said the game changed when an open Robben missed on a chance to make it 3-1, watching as his shot was deflected off
the post and crossbar by Sven Bender
"We then had enormous luck after the break when Bender prevented Robben from scoring Bayern's third," he said. "We would have lost the game
had that gone in. We then scored two great goals and held on. We had the little bit of luck that's necessary when you come here. You could even say a lot of luck, but you need it here. This win is
huge for the team's confidence and development."