Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Germany: Bayern fears as Dortmund claim Double in fine style

Posted in European Football by peterbein on May 13, 2012

Borussia Dortmund wrote a new chapter in their history when winning the DFB Pokal (German Cup) last night. Not content with winning the Bundesliga with a record total of 81 points , the Schwarzgelben (black and yellows) routed UEFA Champions League finalists FC Bayern 5-2 to claim the German league and cup double for the first time in the club’s history. Goals from Shinji Kagawa, Mats Hummels and a hat-trick from Polish striking sensation Robert Lewandowski gave Dortmund the cup for the third time, their first triumph in this competition since 1989, and underlined just how far the balance of power has shifted in German football over the last couple of years.

For a club like FC Bayern to come second is one thing, to come second in such a weak manner shows that Dortmund have made all the right judgements since coach Jurgen Klopp took over the helm nearly four years ago. They have shown great stability, consistency and have transformed themselves from a mid-ranking club back to a footballing power with a team able to mix the virtues of neat attacking football and an honest work ethic. FC Bayern, on the other hand, have allowed themselves to become embroiled in petty team squabbles, particularly between superstars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, which is in keeping with the derogatory “FC Hollywood” tag with which they have been synonymous for decades.

Many could argue, with some justification, that Dortmund were aided by their early elimination from European competition whilst FC Bayern have had to juggle three competitions throughout the campaign. The longer rest periods inbetween matches has allowed Dortmund to focus their minds more thoroughly on domestic matters whilst the goal of reaching the UEFA Champions League final in their home stadium in Munich has pre-occupied FC Bayern’s campaign. With this in mind it will be interesting to see how FC Bayern will react to their German Cup final thrashing when they appear in their ‘home’ UEFA Champions League final against Chelsea FC next Saturday. Will the pressure and expectation fail Bayern once more, just like in 1999 and 2010, or will they re-group and put domestic misery out of their minds to win a fifth European crown? They certainly have the players and the talent, their performances against Real Madrid in the semi-finals are a case in point, but if the squad allows itself to get distracted before the big game then Chelsea could use that to their advantage especially as they have come back from early season adversity to claim one domestic trophy, the FA Cup, already this season.

It will also be interesting to see how FC Bayern will prepare themselves for next season. Rumours are rife regarding the impending departure of Arjen Robben who, along with Ribery, scored the consolation strikes for FC Bayern in the German Cup final. Champions Dortmund have already signalled their intent for the future by bringing in Marco Reus from Borussia Mönchengladbach and allowing Lucas Barrios, top scorer in the 2010-11 season, to move to Chinese outfit Ghangzhou Evergrande. FC Bayern will also need to bring in some fresh faces and get rid of some dead wood if they are to refresh themselves for future challenges. Whether they do that as European champions and take some of the gloss off Dortmund’s recent achievements remains to be seen.

Germany: Holders Schalke eliminated from Cup

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 23, 2011

DFB PokalDFB Pokal (German Cup) holders Schalke 04 were dumped out of this season’s competition by Borussia Mönchengladbach following the latter’s 3-1 home win in Wednesday’s Round of 16 tie.

Borussia Mönchengladbach ensured that there would be no repeat triumph for Schalke 04 in this year’s DFB Pokal. Juan Arango gave Borussia the lead on 18 minutes which was doubled ten minutes after the break when striking sensation Marco Reus bagged his first goal of the night. Schalke did make a fight of it and pulled one back through substitute Julian Draxler but the cup holders, who were down to ten men for virtually all of the second half after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar saw red in the 46th minute, saw their dreams for this season go up in smoke as Reus grabbed his second goal with two minutes remaining. Schalke’s night ended with Jermaine Jones also seeing red as the Ruhr Valley outfit went out in sorry fashion whilst Mönchengladbach continue their great season, lying fourth in the Bundesliga standings whilst through to the last eight of the cup.

FC Bayern had Arjen Robben to thank on Tuesday as the Dutchman gave his side a 2-1 win with his goal coming in stoppage time at the end of a tight game against second division VfL Bochum. Giovanni Federico’s 26th minute goal gave Bochum the lead but Bayern, record winners of the Pokal with 15 successes, overturned the deficit with goals from Toni Kroos and Robben with the Bavarians favourites to win “The Pot” once more. SpVgg Greuther Fürth, second in the second division, overcame four-time winners Nürnberg on their home turf with Edgar Prib’s 15th minute strike proving the difference between the sides in a Franconian derby. The visitors saw defender Bernd Nehrig sent off with 25 minutes left to play but Fürth held out and secured a place in the last eight of the cup for the second time in three years.

In another shock Holstein Kiel got the better of 1.FSV Mainz 05 with a 2-0 victory courtesy of an Anthony Ujah own goal and Steve Müller’s 34th minute strike. Fortuna Düsseldorf, the current second division leaders, took Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund all the way in their Round of 16 but were unfortunate to lose in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw after extra-time. VfB Stuttgart eliminated Hamburger SV in their home Mercedes Benz Arena with Cacau grabbing both goals for the Swabians as they defeated their Hanseatic opponents with a 2-1 victory, William Kvist’s own goal providing a consolation for the visitors. Hertha BSC and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim make up the last eight after getting the better of first division opponents 1. FC Kaiserslautern and FC Augsburg respectively.

QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Hertha BSC v Borussia Mönchengladbach

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Holstein Kiel v Borussia Dortmund

VfB Stuttgart v FC Bayern

Ties to be played on 7-8 February, 2012.

Europe: L’OM through to final; Real defeat Atleti; Cups Review

Posted in European Football, UK Football by peterbein on January 21, 2011

There’s been plenty more action in European domestic cup competitions this week including the French League Cup semi-finals, Coppa Italia, English and Scottish FA Cup replays as well as the completion of the German Cup 3rd round following the postponement of two games in December due to bad weather. With further played in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey Stoppage Time reviews the best of the action.

Montpellier HSC and Olympique Marseille will contest the 17th Coupe de la Ligue final in April after chalking up respective victories over Paris Saint Germain and AJ Auxerre in the semi-finals. An Olivier Giroud goal in second half extra-time proved the difference as Montpellier reached the tournament showpiece. Marseille, the defending champions, reached consecutive finals having put AJ Auxerre to the sword with a 2-0 win with goals from Brandao and Gignac.

The Derby della Capitale took centre stage in the Coppa Italia as AS Roma and SS Lazio faced off in another typically feisty derby match. A goal from Simplicio in the 77th minute gave AS Roma the win after both teams had scored from the penalty spot early in the second half. Napoli sealed their place on Tuesday with a 2-1 home win against Bologna whilst Wednesday saw Sampdoria go through via a penalty shoot out at home to Udinese. The one game on Thursday night witnessed an easy win for AC Milan over AS Bari with the San Siro side going through 3-0 thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexander Merkel and Robinho.

Copa del Rey holders Sevilla FC became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals on Tuesday defeating Villarreal 3-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, going through 6-3 on aggregate. Goals from Renato, Freddie Kanoute and Alexis gave the Andalucians a semi-final tie against Real Madrid who recorded a 1-0 victory on Thursday over local rivals Atletico Madrid. Second division Real Betis made a brave attempt to claw back a five goal deficit against record holders FC Barcelona but, in the end, the Catalans went through 6-3 on aggregate despite losing the second leg 3-1. Barcelona look forward to a meeting with Almeria who disposed of Deportivo 4-2 on aggregate.

There were replays in England’s FA Cup with Premier League teams getting the better of lower league opponents. The biggest game saw eleven times winners Arsenal FC defeat Leeds United 3-1 at the latter’s Elland Road stadium on Wednesday thanks to Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Robin van Persie. On Tuesday there were wins for Manchester City (4-2 v Leicester City), Wolverhampton Wanderers (5-0 v Doncaster Rovers) and Stoke City (2-0 v Cardiff City) giving the top-flight plenty of representation in the oncoming 5th round.

In the Scottish Cup there was a big shock on Tuesday as third tier Ayr United got the better of SPL side Hibernian FC by a Mark Roberts goal to nil piling the pressure on the Easter Road side who have not enjoyed a good season. Dundee United ultimately got the better of second tier Ross County winning 4-3 in a penalty shoot out in a repeat of the 2010 Scottish Cup final. There were also wins for Dunfermline Athletic (5-3 v Montrose), St Mirren (6-1 v Peterhead) and Partick Thistle (1-0 v Falkirk FC) whilst drawn matches involving Stenhousemuir/Stranraer (0-0) and Greenock Morton/Airdrie United (2-2) will have to be replayed at a later date.

Tuesday saw the completion of the Round of 16 in the KNVB Beker with wins for Eredivisie sides Groningen FC, RKC Waalwijk, NAC Breda and VV Noordwijk. They saw off determined opponents in the form of SC Genemuden, Achilles 29 Groesbeek, Telstar Velsen and Sparta Nijkerk respectively.

There were just two matches to play in the Round of 16 in Germany’s DFB Pokal with top flight sides securing wins over lower league opposition in games postponed from before Christmas due to bad weather. Srdjan Lakic was the hero for 1.FC Kaiserslautern scoring a hat-trick in his club’s 4-1 win over TuS Koblenz whilst a brace for Timmy Simons sealed progress for 2007 cup winners 1.FC Nurnberg in their 2-0 victory against 3. Liga side Kickers Offenbach.

Two matches were played in the group stage of the Turkiye Kupasi, one of which saw Galatasaray secure their passage to the quarter-final stages following a goalless draw away at Antalyaspor in their roup A encounter. In Group C capital club Ankaragucu still have a chance of progressing to the last eight following a Monday night 1-1 draw at home to Bucaspor. The visitors have now completed their group campaign and currently lie in second place but a win for Ankaragucu in their final match against Yeni Malatyaspor will see them take Bucaspor’s spot.

The Kypello Elladas saw the quarter-final first legs played out, amongst the four ties were two of the Greek games classic fixtures. Defending cup holders Panathinaikos fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of capital rivals AEK Athens whilst record cup winners Olympiakos Piraeus could only draw a north/south grudge match 1-1 against PAOK Thessaloniki. Olympiakos Volou have one foot in the semi-final draw having won 2-0 away at AO Kerkyra whilst on Thursday Atromitos got the better of Diagoras Rhodes FC by a similar scoreline.

In Portugal’s Taça da Liga the group stages are in full swing with two rounds of games completed in each of the four third-round groups which will determine who this year’s semi-finalists will be. Group A is led by Nacional who hold a three point advantage over FC Porto after beating Gil Vicente 4-1 on Wednesday. Two-time winners SL Benfica, Paços de Ferreira and Sporting top groups B, C and D respectively.

The Kypello Kyprou on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus saw the conclusion of three of the eight Round of 16 ties this week with the stand-out fixture between Apollon Limassol and APOEL Nicosia with the former winning 3-1 on aggregate following a 2-0 home success on Wednesday. There were also wins for Ethnikos Achnas and AEK Larnaca with respective wins over Ermis Aradippou and Doxa Katakopias.

Europe: Big wins for Bayern and Real Madrid; Cups Review

Posted in European Football by peterbein on December 23, 2010
Miroslav Klose

Miroslav Klose scored twice in FC Bayern's 6-3 win over VfB Stuttgart

To finish the year there has been domestic cup action this week throughout Europe. Some matches were called off due to bad weather in northern Europe including the entire first leg fixture list in Belgium’s Coupe Cofidis but, overall, there has been good quality football played in Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the best of the action:

GERMANY: Schalke 04 scraped through by the skin of their teeth against 2. Liga outfit FC Augsburg with the Gelsenkirchen side going through 1-0 courtesy of a Jefferson Farfan goal with just six minutes remaining. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim also put their name in the hat for the last eight with a 2-0 home win over Borussia Mönchengladbach with Gylfi Sigurðsson and Demba Ba doing the damage. On Wednesday cup holders FC Bayern went to VfB Stuttgart for the second time in three days and were involved in a humdinger of a game. Having put five past their hosts in the league game on Sunday, FC Bayern went one better as they beat the Swabians with a 6-3 scoreline. The biggest shock of the round came in Lower Saxony where English coach Steve McClaren is under increasing pressure after seeing VfL Wolfsburg go out against 2. Liga side Energie Cottbus. There were also wins for MSV Duisburg (2-1 over 1.FC Köln) and Alemania Aachen who prevailed 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt. The games involving Kickers Offenbach v 1.FC Nürnberg and TuS Koblenz v 1.FC Kaiserslautern were postponed due to bad weather.

GREECE: In the Kypello Elladas defending cup holders Panathinaikos got the better of tricky opponents Trikala FC by 3-2 on Wednesday whilst local rivals Olympiakos Piraeus scraped through their game away at Asteras Tripolis with Spanish striker Ariel Ibagaza scoring the winner late in the game with four minutes remaining. Their namesakes Olympiakos Volou are through following a 2-1 win at home to Panserraikos on Tuesday whilst PAOK Thessaloniki, fresh from their UEFA Europa League exploits, also qualified for the quarter-finals with a 2-1 home win against PAS Ioannina. Atrmoitos beat AO Kavala 1-0 in the remaining game already played this week whilst three games take place this evening, the pick of the games being the meeting of Super League Greece sides Larissa and AEK Athens.

NETHERLANDS: There were easy wins this week for FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven. The former wrapped up a convincing 5-0 home destruction of Vitesse Arnhem whilst the latter conjured up a 3-1 win away at Roda JC Kerkrade. The only other game so far this week saw FC Utrecht get the better of FC Volendam by a goal to nil at home. Tonight sees defending champions Ajax Amsterdam face a tough home test against AZ Alkmaar but the game between this season’s surprise package in the Eredivisie, FC Groningen, and SC Genemuiden is now postponed becuase of the weather. The other three games in this round will be played in mid-January.

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema scored in Real Madrid's win over Levante CF

SPAIN: It was a job well done for Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey Round of 16, first leg as they held FC Barcelona to a goalless draw in the Camp Nou on Tuesday in a match pitting the two most successful Copa del Rey winners against each other. Valencia were also involved in a goalless draw against local rivals Villarreal whilst a night of drawn games was completed on Tuesday with Deportivo La Coruña’s 1-1 draw at Cordoba CF. On Wednesday there were wins for last season’s finalists Sevilla FC (5-3 v Malaga CF) and Atlético de Madrid (1-0 v RCD Espanyol) while Real Madrid easily saw off Levante CF by an 8-0 scoreline, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both bagging a hat-trick apiece. The other two matches this week saw a victories for UD Almería (4-3 v Real Mallorca) and Getafe (2-1 away at Real Betis).

TURKEY: The Kupasi Türkiye has reached the last 16 stage. It has a group stage, unlike most other domestic knockout competitions, where the teams have been split into four groups of five teams. In Group A both Gaziantepspor and Galatasaray top the standings with four points from two games following their meeting on Tuesday where they both gained a point from a 1-1 draw. Beşiktaş are only in third place in Group B but they did chalk up their first win of the group with a 3-2 victory over second place Konya Sekerspor whilst Trabzonspor are in fourth having only drawn 2-2 at home to Gaziantep. The biggest surprise so far is that Fenerbahçe lie rock bottom in Group C having lost both of their two opening games against Ankaragücü and, on Tuesday, against first place Bucaspor. Group D saw league champions Bursaspor top the standings, defeating Karsiyaka Izmir 2-0 on Tuesday.

Europe: Big names fall and nine goal routs; domestic cup round-up

Posted in European Football by peterbein on October 28, 2010
Belgian Cup

Who will win the 2010-11 Belgian Cup?

Many of European football’s domestic knockout competitions were in action over the last few days and there has been plenty of shocks, goals and action along the way. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the most significant action from across Europe.

BELGIUM: Defending title holders KAA Gent comfortably got through their Round of 32 tie against KVK Tienen. Among the goals was Tim Smolders scoring twice as Gent strolled to a 4-1 victory. RSC Anderlecht, in contrast, were made to work hard against third division side URS de Centre progressing 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw after extra-time. Club Brugge, Standard Liege and current league leaders Racing Genk are some of the big clubs who progress following a Round of 32 largely devoid of shocks.

CROATIA: The biggest shock in Croatia came in Split where the defending cup holders Hajduk were defeated at home by NK Istra 1961 at the Round of 16 stage. With the game goalless after 90 minutes Emir Hadžić scored the only goal of the game and shocked the home side who now go out of the tournament. It was plain sailing for Hajduk’s arch-rivals Dinamo Zagreb who scored both of their goals in a 2-0 away win at NK Karlovac before the half-hour mark.

DENMARK: League leaders FC København were roundly defeated at home by AC Horsens in the biggest shock in the Round of 16. Four different players were on the score sheet for the visitors who silenced the home crowd, coming away with a 4-2 win at the Parken. On Thursday 2009-10 cup winners FC Nordsjælland had to make the tough trip to Odense and emerged as 3-2 winners whilst in the other all-Superliga clash Esbjerg fB defeated Silkeborg IF by two goals to nil with both strikes coming in the first half.

ENGLAND: The big boys had it their way again in the English League Cup Round of 16. Title holders Manchester United, looking for a third consecutive win in this competition, finally scrapped to a 3-2 win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers while Arsenal FC made easier work of Newcastle United who succumbed to a 4-0 home defeat. Aston Villa needed thirty extra minutes to see off second tier Burnley FC with a 2-1 win and Birmingham City needed the lottery of a penalty shoot-out to defeat Everton’s conquerors Brentford F.C.

FRANCE: The Coupe de la Ligue witnessed two big games which resulted in knockouts for Olympique Lyonnais and Girondins de Bordeaux at the hands of Paris Saint Germain and Saint-Étienne respectively. AS Monaco had to fight all the way at home to Lorient eventually going through by virtue of penalties whilst they will meet defending champions Olympique Marseille team in the next round after l’OM toughed out a 1-0 victory away at EA Guingamp.

GERMANY: As ever in Germany the cup saw plenty of amazing goals and shocks. DFB-Pokal holders FC Bayern München scraped their way past Werder Bremen with the most successful side in German Cup history winning 2-1 over the second most successful thanks mainly to the efforts of Bastien Schweinsteiger. Eintracht Frankfurt thrashed Hamburger SV by 5-2  to qualify for the Round of 16 whilst the big shocks happened in Aachen and Offenbach after those cities’ respective teams Alemania and Kickers knocked out the top two from the top flight. 1.FSV Mainz 05 lost 2-1 away in Aachen and Borussia Dortmund, who had high hopes for this competition, went down to a penalty shoot-out loss in Offenbach following a goalless 120 minutes of football.

ITALY: Not too many of the big boys enter the Coppa Italia at the Round of 32 stage but those who did play this week had plenty to smile about. Current Serie A leaders SS Lazio had an easy 3-0 home win against Portogruaro Summaga while Udinese thrashed Padova Calcio by four goals to nil. It was a bit tougher for the likes of AC Fiorentina and Genoa FC as they needed extra-time to see off Empoli FC and US Grosseto respectively. The likes of AC Milan, Juventus FC and defending title holders Internazionale FC enter in the next round.

Polish Cup

Who will win the 2010-11 Polish Cup?

POLAND: Jagiellonia Białystok, 2009-10 cup winners, sealed their passage through the Puchar Polski Round of 16 stage after a narrow 1-0 away win at Korona Kielce with Maciej Makuszewski scoring the only goal of the game. League champions KKS Lech Poznań defeated KS Cracovia 4-1 whilst Cracovia’s eternal enemies Wisła Kraków scraped a 1-0 home win in the 87th minute against Widzew Łódź thanks to Maciej Żurawski. Capital side Legia Warsaw sealed a 2-1 win away at Śląsk Wrocław whose season goes from bad to worse. Lechia Gdańsk and Ruch Chorzów needed penalty kicks in order to qualify against ŁKS Łódź and OKS 1945 Olsztyn respectively.

ROMANIA: CFR Cluj-Napoca, winners of the Cupa Romaniei for the last three years, sealed their passage through to the Round of 16 with a 2-0 home win against Târgu Mureş to keep up their great recent record in this competition. Record title holders Steaua Bucharest are also through thanks to holding thier nerve in 3-1 a penalty shoot-out win over FC Sportul Studenţesc. Unirea Urziceni, however, went out as a Bruno Moraes goal was enough to seal Gloria Bistriţa’s place in the next round. FC Timişoara, Dinamo Bucharest and FC Brașov are amongst some of the other clubs that have made it through.

SCOTLAND: Same old story in Scotland’s CIS League Cup competition as Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers kept up their dominance by progressing past this week’s quarter-final matches. Celtic, though, very nearly blew it after taking a three goal lead after 13 minutes allowing their hosts St. Johnstone to reduce the deficit to 3-2 but the Bhoys ultimately went through. Rangers, fresh from their Old Firm league victory three days earlier, were far from their best against Kilmarnock but still went through to the last four with a 2-0 win. Aberdeen FC and Motherwell FC make up the quartet of teams remaining as they knocked out Falkirk FC and Dundee United FC respectively.

SPAIN: Real Madrid CF are used to shocks in the Copa del Rey in recent years and they very nearly faultered again but their Round of 32, 1st leg match against Real Murcia ended goalless. Record Copa holders FC Barcelona made a good start defeating Ceuta 2-0 whilst current holders Sevilla FC easily disposed of Real Unión 4-0, a scoreline bettered by last season’s losing finalists Atlético de Madrid who put five past a hapless Las Palmas side. Athletic Bilbao hold a narrow 1-0 advantage over Alcorcon, the team who knocked Real Madrid out of last season’s Copa.

SWEDEN: The Svenska Cupen saw two eventful semi-finals this week. On Wednesday second division Hammerby IF blew a 2-0 lead in normal time but were able to go through after a pulsating 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Allsvenskan side Kalmar. Thursday night saw Helsingborgs IF beat Mjällby AIF by two goals to nil and book their place alongside Hammerby in the final to be played on November 13th.

Turkish Cup

Who will win the 2010-11 Turkish Cup?

TURKEY: Türkiye Kupasi Play-Offs having taken place this week with the winners of each of the sixteen ties joining defending champions Trabzonspor and the top three teams in last season’s league championship, namely Bursaspor,Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray in the group phase. Beşiktaş sealed their place on Thursday with a 3-0 victory over Mersin İdmanyurdu with Guti and Bobô (2) grabbing the goals during the extra-time period. Sivasspor’s season went from bad to worse following their 2-1 home defeat by Manisaspor.

UKRAINE: Kubok Ukrainy Round of 16 saw the Big Two of Ukrainian football cement their places in the next round of the comeptition. Shakhtar Donetsk saw off the challenge of lower league FC Poltava with a 2-0 scoreline whilst Dynamo Kyiv also booked their spot with a 2-1 defeat of fellow Premier League club PFC Sevastopol. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who knocked out last season’s winners Tavriya Simferopol in the previous round, gave recently appointed coach Juande Ramos something to smile about with a 3-0 away win at Kremin Kremenchuk whilst Karpaty Lviv got the better of surprise 2008-09 cup winners Vorskla Poltava with a 3-0 win in front of their home fans.

WALES: The biggest score in Europe came in the Welsh Premier League Cup semi-final 1st legs with The New Saints, looking for a third consecutive title, thrashing Bangor City by a massive nine goals to nil. Bangor City, who have a perfect 100% record after eleven matches in the Welsh Premier League, fielded a weakened side and TNS made them pay with Jamie Wood scoring a hat-trick and two players, Scott Ruscoe and Alex Darlington bagging a brace each. The other semi-final, 1st leg tie was a much tighter affair with Llanelli AFC gaining a 1-0 win away at Aberystwyth with Stuart Jones getting on the score sheet.