This summer’s Telekom Cup took place in the Borussia Park of Mönchengladbach on Saturday.
Besides the hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach, the invitational tournament included Bayern Munich, who always takes part in the competition that its main sponsor organizes. Beyond that, it featured Werder Bremen and TSG Hoffenheim.
The Telekom Cup rules are such that four matches of 45 minutes each are played in the tournament. (That includes two semifinals, the third-place match and the final. In case of a drawn game, a penalty shootout decides the outcome).
The opening match saw the hosts face Werder Bremen. Both sides came into the game without many of their key players and Werder started the better of the two teams. Later, it became more even and something of an end-to-end contest developed. But thanks to some excellent goalkeeping, it ended 0-0.
The spot kicks went flawlessly for the first seven shooters, Bremen led 4-3. Then, their new keeper Jiri Pavlenka saved Gladbach youngster Mickael Cuisance’s attempt,before Max Kruse gaveWerder the 5-3 victory.
In the second semifinal Bayern Munich took on TSG Hoffenheim. The Bavarians started with the best players they had available, apart from David Alaba and newcomer James Rodríguez. They dominated the game from start to finish with their possession-oriented wide play.
An early strike by Robert Lewandowski decided the game and Hoffenheim keeper Gregor Kobel prevented Munich from winning by a much wider margin.
The third-place game between Gladbach and Hoffenheim went from largely uneventful to highly physical. But not much happened in front of either goal, thus it ended scoreless, before Hoffenheim won on penalties.
The final between Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich was much more watchable than the third-place match. Bayern this time started with Alaba and James, but was without many of its other stars. They also played much more centrally than in the first game.
These changes allowed Bremen to be actively involved in the game. But the Bavarians nevertheless prevailed 2-0 with goals by Thomas Müller and Juan Bernat. Müller even missed a late penalty that would have given them a third.
But Bayern won the Telekom Cup deservedly despite the miss.