Few DFB-Pokal finals have been as hotly anticipated as the one that took place in Berlin's Olympiastadion on 12 May 2012. It wasn't just half of Dortmund that made the journey to the capital - everyone connected with German football had their eyes on this one.
The match saw the 2011 and 2012 German Bundesliga winners Borussia Dortmund take on Bayern Munich, who at that time had been beaten to the domestic crown two times in a row by the team from Borsigplatz. Having finished the Bundesliga campaign in second place, the men from Munich wanted to save their season by winning the DFB-Pokal final and – a week later – the Champions League final in their own Allianz Arena.
Tension was rife in the build-up to the showpiece, where Borussia Dortmund had the chance to make up for missed opportunities. Having missed their first chance to claim the double in 1963 after losing 3-0 to HSV in the cup final, the club was hoping to bring home both trophies to Germany's football capital 103 years after its foundation.
Similarly to the 1989 and 2008 finals, it was the Westphalians who enjoyed the support of the neutrals. At a peaceful fan party at Breitscheidplatz in the German capital, huge numbers of happily celebrating Dortmund fans again conquered the hearts of the locals.
Barely two minutes after referee Peter Gagelmann from Bremen had blown the first whistle, the Olympiastadion already resembled a madhouse. Bayern's Luiz Gustavo first misplaced a pass forward and then played a dangerous backpass. Jakub Blaszczykowski sprinted down the right of the box and latched on to the ball before squaring to Shinji Kagawa, who tapped it into an empty net to give BVB a dream start!
The celebrations of those supporting BVB among the 74,497 fans had hardly died down when goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was floored for several minutes in a collision with Mario Gomez, leaving the fans waiting with baited breath. Though initially able to play on in great pain, the BVB custodian was noticeably slow as he came charging off his line a short while later and fouled Gomez in the process (23). The keeper was booked, while Bayern were awarded a penalty, which Robben dispatched firmly to Weidenfeller's left to level the scores midway through the first half.
Bayern tried to up the ante, with Robben keeping Schmelzer and Großkreutz busy on the left and Ribéry occupying Piszczek and Blaszczykowski on the right. Langerak, who had replaced Weidenfeller between the sticks three minutes earlier, had to put his body on the line to deny Gomez in the 37th minute.
Towards the end of the first half, the Black and Yellows managed to restore their lead. With Borussia camped in the final third, Blaszczykowski was taken out by Boateng as he dragged the ball back in the left of the box. The game's second penalty was converted slightly fortunately by Hummels, with Neuer diving the right way. Dortmund were 2-1 up in the 41st minute.
Five minutes of injury time came at the end of the first half, in which Borussia launched an almost decisive counter. Kagawa was quick to latch on to a long ball and fed Lewandowski, who had escaped from Boateng and sprinted into the box from the right. The Pole slotted the ball past Neuer into the left corner from 13 metres. Dortmund continued to mount the pressure, extending their lead in the 58th minute. Kagawa found Großkreutz, who played a clever diagonal ball through Schweinsteiger's legs to Lewandowski for the Pole to drill into the left of the goal from 10 metres. 4-1! Ten minutes later, he failed to beat Neuer from a narrow angle after Gündogan & Co. had outmanoeuvred the Bayern defence.
At the other end, Gomez headed against the crossbar from close range (69) before Ribery drilled in a low shot from 16 metres to make it 4-2 (75). However, only six minutes later Lewandowski re-established BVB's three-goal lead after Neuer let Gündogan's pass slip out of his hands. Piszczek regained possession on the right flank before crossing to Lewandowski, who headed home from four metres out (81).
The last few minutes flew by, with the Olympiastadion now in party mode. Even Roman Weidenfeller managed to return from the hospital in time. "I had to make it clear to the doctor how important it was for me to be back on time and to get a hand on the trophy. She did not understand that at all."
When captain Sebastian Kehl was finally presented with the cup, the Black & Yellow celebrations knew no bounds. "It's amazing. It's taken this club 103 years to win the double. It's such an emotional occasion. It's incredible," said chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke, after spending minutes standing dreamily on the empty pitch in a manner reminiscent of Franz Beckenbauer after the 1990 World Cup final in Rome.
Though at least three quarters of an hour had elapsed since the final whistle, the Dortmund contingent was going nowhere. There were 40,000 in the stands and 11 down on the pitch and the tartan track, soaking up the biggest moment in the club's history and in no mood to move. When the "Toten Hosen" blared through the loudspeakers, it was a spine-tingling moment. "On days like these" (An Tagen wie diesen) was the song.
It was as if the song had been composed just for this club, this team and this very moment.