Borderline Bayern Blown Away in Berlin by Hummels’ Header, Lose 1:0
Sport Commentary from Mark Lovell
Munich (Special to MunichNOW) Bayern Munich ended their season in disappointing fashion with a narrow defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the Cup Final in the German capital Berlin. Saturday’s hard-fought final was decided by man-of-the-match Mats Hummels’ winner in the 64th minute.
The German international defender’s header from a Nuri Sahin cross was hacked away on the line by Bayern defender Dante. Referee Florian Meyer and his assistants were unsure whether the ball had crossed the line and immediately requested a video replay of the incident as per the new guidelines.
The momentous decision took mere seconds to clarify whilst the BVB players wheeled away in celebration. The clear evidence that the ball was well over Manuel Neuer’s line - therefore a legitimate goal - sent the jubilant Dortmund fans into raptures – as well as effervescent coach Jürgen Klopp into a jig on the touchline.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Neuer, arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, has been embroiled in goal-line controversy. England’s Frank Lampard’s thought he had scored an equaliser at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with replays clearly showing that the Three Lions midfielder’s shot was two yards over the line.
On that occasion, the goal was not awarded and Germany went on to comfortably win the crunch quarter-final in Bloemfontein. In their infinite wisdom, FIFA have now decided to introduce hi-tech technology at the forthcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil, following a successful trial at the Confederations Cup.
The “straw that broke the camel’s back” in the Bundesliga was Stefan Kiessling’s ‘ghost goal’ scored for Leverkusen against Hoffenheim in October. “If ever there was one example to be in favour of goal-line technology, then this is the match,” Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Völler said after that particular phantom of the Bundesliga.
Following the lead of England’s Premier League (who introduced the popular and pacifying scheme at the beginning of 2013-14) the much-heralded “Made in Germany” video technology was hurried in all across the country to avoid such flashpoints and controversy.
“Vorsprung durch Technik” (Progress Through Technology) it proved - at least from a Dortmund standpoint. Ironically for the Bavarians, they had voted for its introduction in the March vote, so the Record German Champions’ forward-thinking came back to haunt them at a most inopportune time.
However, in the modern mega-rich game with multi-million € salaries and billions “on the line”, it would seem common sense that games are not won or lost by not having video camera equipment. German football’s decision-makers can feel some pride that technology had ultimately ensured that the correct decision was made at such a pivotal moment in the final game of the domestic campaign.