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Bayer Leverkusen beats Kaiserslautern in German Cup final

May 25, 2024

An early strike from Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka secured victory, giving the side from North Rhine-Westphalia an unbeaten domestic double.

Baye Leverkusen lift the trophy amid falling confetti
Leverkusen last won the German Cup in 1993Image: Sebastian Christoph Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

In German football, Bayer Leverkusen triumphed 1-0 over Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on Saturday, completing an unbeaten domestic double.

Leverkusen's Granit Xhaka hit the back of the net in the 16th minute, which would prove to be enough against second-division Kaiserslautern.

Bayer Leverkusen's Swiss midfielder #34 Granit Xhaka (2nd R) celebrates scoring the opening goal with his teammates
Leverkusen went down to 10 men in the 44th minute but managed to hold on for victory against second-division KaiserslauternImage: Tobias Schwarz/AFP

One man advantage not enough for Kaiserslautern

Leverkusen went down to 10 men in the 44th minute when Odilon Kossounou was yellow carded for a second time with a foul on Boris Tomiak.

Kaiserslautern were unable to capitalize off of the one-man advantage, despite strong and vocal support from their traveling fans.

The win is Leverkusen's second in the German Cup after last winning the trophy back in 1993 and will be some consolation after being defeated by Atalanta just three days ago in the Europa League final.

That ended Leverkusen's record 51-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. 

Leverkusen players celebrate with the trophy after their victory
Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso called it a "dream season"Image: Sebastian Christoph Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

'It was a dream season' — Alonso

"To win like that at the end, we showed our team spirit. We fought hard, we did it for everyone, the fans, the club," head coach of Leverkusen, Xabi Alonso told Germany's ARD. 

"I need a bit more time to grasp it. It was a dream season. To be able to celebrate here is incredible — we need to enjoy it," Alonso said.

This was Alonso's first full season managing at the top level, finishing with a Bundesliga and German Cup double, a Europa League final and a remarkable record of just one loss in 53 games.

"It was a deserved victory," said club CEO Fernando Carro.

"We could have added another goal but overall a fully deserved win. We lifted the Cup after we failed to do so Wednesday. Compliments to the team to win this double."

kb/sri (AP, dpa)