Kaiserslautern end Saarbrucken's dream run to reach DFB Pokal final

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Kaiserslautern end Saarbrucken's dream run to reach DFB Pokal final
Kaiserslautern’s defender Almamy Toure, left, vies for the ball with Saarbrucken's Marcel Gaus
Kaiserslautern’s defender Almamy Toure, left, vies for the ball with Saarbrucken's Marcel Gaus
AFP
Kaiserslautern ended Saarbrucken’s fairytale DFB Pokal cup run as the Red Devils beat their rivals 2-0 to become the first non-Bundesliga side to reach the final since the 2010/11 season.

The Saarbrucken faithful roared their side on inside the Ludwigsparkstadion during the opening stages, eager to land an early blow on local rivals Kaiserslautern.

Such intensity carried from the stands to the pitch and Kai Brunker’s glanced header in the opening minute was gratefully held by Robin Himmelmann.

With three DFB Pokal goals to his name in Saarbrucken’s giant-killing run to the semi-final, Brunker seemed desperate to keep his scoring streak rolling and attempted a deft chip from a tight angle, but Himmelmann was equal to the attempt.

Saarbrücken continued to control possession for large spells and a more direct route almost produced the opener as Kasim Rabihic’s teasing free-kick picked out Brünker, whose diving header skimmed the post.

Kaiserslautern continued to face a barrage of pressure from their foes before the break and looked a husk of the side that struck 13 goals in four DFB Pokal prior, yet the visitors weathered the storm and kept the scores level at the break.

After defending for most of the first half, it was Kaiserslautern turn to attack and the two time Pokal winners struck first thanks to a stroke of fortune. Marlon Ritter’s glanced header from Almamy Toure’s cross was heading straight towards Tim Schreiber, only for the Saarbrucken goalkeeper to mistime his save, allowing the ball to roll through his legs and into the net.

The Red Devils then delivered the knockout strike 15 minutes from time with Toure reversing roles and getting on the end of Tymoteusz Puchacz’s free-kick to header past Schreiber.

Despite the eventual heartbreak, there was a sense of pride for all involved with 3.Liga side Saarbrücken as the final whistle blew, even though Die Molschde fell short at the semi-final stage of the Pokal for a fifth time in the club’s history.

Friedhelm Funkel’s Kaiserslautern will now prepare for their first final appearance since 2003 as either Bundesliga title winners in waiting, Bayer Leverkusen, or fellow 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf await.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Almamy Toure (Kaiserslautern)

Check out all the match stats with Flashscore.

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