Perfect Farewell to Ailton as Bremen Clinch Historic Double | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 30.05.2004
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Perfect Farewell to Ailton as Bremen Clinch Historic Double

Werder Bremen became only the fourth German team to win a league and cup double after defeating second division Alemannia Aachen 3-2 to lift the German Cup in Berlin on Saturday.


The sweet taste of victory.

With the lifting of the German title, Bremen joined Bayern Munich, Cologne and Schalke 04 in the hall of fame and crowned the most successful season in their history.

It was a perfect send-off for Brazilian star striker Ailton, presented with the Bundesliga Golden Boot before the match for his 28-goal haul, as he leaves for Schalke 04 at the end of the season.

Fussballer Ailton

Bremen's Brazilian forward Ailton

"It is fantastic to leave Bremen with two titles," said Ailton. "I just want to say 'thank you Bremen but now I have to go to Schalke 04'."

Aachen, who vanquished Cup holders Bayern in the quarter-finals, had the consolation of joining VfB Stuttgart and VfL Bochum in next season's UEFA Cup.

"I think we can go home now"

With less than 60 seconds on the clock, Brazilian Ailton was dragged down on the edge of the area when bearing down on goal at pace. It set the tone for the opening quarter hour with Aachen stretched all over the pitch by the pace of Bremen.

The 1965 finalists could have been three goals down but for some poor finishing, but then fought their way back into the game with former Liverpool man Erik Meijer causing danger in the air.

Tim Borowski traf für Werder Bremen

Tim Borowski of Werder Bremen cheers after scoring the 1-0 against Alemannia Aachen

But on the half hour mark, Bremen broke through with German national Fabian Ernst cutting the ball back for midfielder Tim Borowski (photo), 24, to slot home.

On the stroke of half-time, Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic struck a second with a clinical left-footed shot that arrowed into the bottom corner. "I think we can go home now," said commentator Franz Beckenbauer on Aachen's chances of a second half comeback.

Former Bremen man Stefan Blank must have heard Beckenbauer's words and reduced the arrears on 51 minutes with a bullet header.

Bremen goalkeeper Andreas Reinke then almost fumbled the ball into his own net on 60 minutes as Bremen wobbled.

But on 75 minutes, Zimbabwean midfielder George Stanley Mbwando was shown a straight red card for a foul on Borowski who rubbed salt into Aachen's wounds by netting six minutes from time.

"We are overjoyed to create Bremen history," said goal hero Borowski.

Meijer scored late on for Aachen but it was nothing more than a consolation for the underdogs.

"A great game"

But there was little doubt that the final was a thrilling one. "We contributed to an exciting final," said Aachen coach Jörg Berger. "I thought it was a great game, especially in the second half."

Werder coach Thomas Schaaf said, " "It was a very tough game." He added, "we should have controlled it after going 2-0 up but they just never let us alone. They kept pushing and never stopped."

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