Leverkusen beat Kaiserslautern to lift German Cup title

Berlin, May 26 (IANS): Bayer Leverkusen clinched the DFB Cup after Granit Xhaka's sole goal was enough to down Kaiserslautern 1-0 at Berlin Olympia stadium.

Second-division outfit Kaiserslautern started brightly into the encounter and tested Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky in the early stages as Daniel Hanslik unleashed a dangerous effort.

Leverkusen remained unimpressed and gained the upper hand as the match progressed as Jeremie Frimping, Patrik Schick and Florian Wirtz kept Kaiserslautern's defense busy, reports Xinhua.

The unbeaten Bundesliga champions showed no mercy and opened the scoring with 15 minutes into the final when Xhaka hammered home a loose ball from 19 meters into the top left corner to leave Kaiserslautern custodian Julian Krahl hapless.

Leverkusen gained momentum and should have doubled its advantage, but Schick couldn't make the most of Alejandro Grimaldo's good build-up work.

Kaiserslautern sparked to life in the closing stages of the first half as Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou received his marching orders for his second bookable offense. The second division side nearly capitalized on its numerical advantage but for all that, Tobias Raschl wasted a promising opportunity to restore parity.

After the restart, outnumbered Leverkusen assumed control again but continued wasteful in front of the target as neither joker Amine Adli nor Josip Stanisic could beat Krahl.

Kaiserslautern chanced its luck with long-range efforts, but Hradecky was equal to the shots from Ragnar Ache in quick succession at the hour mark.

Leverkusen's defense stood firm, but Xabi Alonso's man failed to extend the lead as Wirtz and Frimpong pulled wide in the closing stages.

"We have suffered a lot today. The red card made the second half really difficult for us. Everyone fought though. It is a forgiving end of the season after we couldn't win against Atalanta Bergamo in Dublin," said Alonso.


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Title: Leverkusen beat Kaiserslautern to lift German Cup title

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