A massive upset in the DFB-Pokal happened last night, as fourth-division side SC Verl defeated Holstein Kiel to advance to the round of 16. The key man in the penalty shootout for Verl was Robin Brüseke. In a post-match interview with DFB.de, the 26-year-old goalkeeper speaks about the moment that changed the course of the match.
DFB.de: Mr. Brüseke, what was running through your mind ahead of the penalty shootout?
Robin Brüseke: As far as I know, I’ve never won a penalty shootout in my life. That’s what I was thinking about. My next thought after that was when I decided that today was the day that that would all change.
DFB.de: And that’s exactly what happened.
Brüseke: But, I started to have some doubts after I had no chance of saving those first three shots despite picking the right corner each time. Then Patrick Choroba missed for us. In that moment I thought that nothing was going to go our way.
DFB.de: But, you then saved a shot from Kiel’s Emmanuel Iyoha.
Brüseke: That was necessary in order to keep us in the game. I owed it to the team, as they’d put up an incredible fight against the second-division side all evening. Ahead of the match, I’d taken the time to prepare by studying up on Kiel’s goalscorers. But, it’s easy to lose track of that amidst the excitement of a penalty shootout.
DFB.de: However, you also saved a shot from Phil Neumann later on.
Brüseke: At some point I just started to react instinctively. As soon as I saved that shot, I knew we were through.
DFB.de: Your teammate Jan Schöppner still had to score on his attempt after that...
Brüseke: I never doubted that he’d be able to score. I sent up a quick prayer, and thankfully it was answered. I wanted to run to my teammates and celebrate with them. But, it was chaos already by that point. For a club like SC Verl, emotions like that only happen during the DFB-Pokal. It’s an indescribable feeling. We’re in seventh heaven at the moment.
DFB.de: Are you aware that you’ve moved on to the next round in the DFB-Pokal? You’re in the same company as teams like Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund, for example.
Brüseke: It’s still surreal to me. I still haven’t fully processed it and still can’t really believe it. It will take a few days for it to sink in. Winning against Augsburg in the first round was already a great feeling. But, this win against Kiel definitely tops that moment.
DFB.de: The draw takes place on Sunday. Is there anyone you’d really like to face in the next round?
Brüseke: I really don’t care. All that matters is if we get a home game or not, anything else is secondary. There’s only big matchups left on the horizon in this competition. We will be the underdogs no matter who we’re drawn against. We’ve already proven that we’re comfortable with taking on this role.
DFB.de: You guys are dangerous underdogs.11:14 AM
Brüseke: Definitely. We’re not some nothing team that plays in a garbage league and meets up twice a week to play. We approach things fairly professionally and train every day. There’s a solid plan behind it all. Moments like tonight are definitely highlights, and none of us are likely to forget this night any time soon. This was a world-class experience from the first minute right to the final shot in the shootout.
DFB.de: In your opinion, was it a deserved victory?
Brüseke: In any case I would say that the win was deserved. I feel that we were the better team and had the better chances. Oh course, Kiel were strong. They hit the bar in extra time for example. But we could’ve decided the game a lot earlier. It didn’t feel that there was a 2 league difference between the sides; we were at least on par with them.
DFB.de: What did you think of the game?
Brüseke: It was incredibly intense and there was a lot of passion in the air. Our fans really pushed us onwards. I found it amazing how my teammates put everything into every challenge. It was unreal. We invested so much into this win. It’s all the better that we were rewarded for this effort.
DFB.de: And now?
Brüseke: Let’s go eat and drink. I have to sit down somewhere. I can barely stand. It’s not alcohol. It’s because I’m completely exhausted. I don’t want to imagine being one of my teammates who’ve been running up and down the pitch for 120 minutes. I don’t know how they can put one foot in front of the other
DFB.de: So after dinner, it’s straight to bed to rest and recuperate?
Brüseke: Definitely not. After an event like this you can’t sleep, we’re all still full of adrenaline. We turn night into day. You have to celebrate the victories when you get them. Today is a holiday for us, today is celebrated.
DFB.de: On the weekend its back to Regionalliga West action. Can you shed any light on what your coach Guerino Capretti intends for the game?By Saturday we will be fully fit again, then we will welcome Borussia Dortmund’s second team. We will be as committed and motivated as we were against Kiel. We have a mission, we’re ready and we want to win every game possible. We’re on a hot streak at the moment and want our success to continue. DFB.de: Endet dieser Lauf dann zwangsläufig mit dem Aufstieg in die 3. Liga?
DFB.de: Does this run inevitably end in promotion to the 3. Liga?
Brüseke: We’ll see. In football, things can go well or badly very fast. We’re at the top of the Regionalliga West and want to defend our position and consolidate our power. However, we have a lot of strong competition. The 3. Liga is still far –but that’s our goal.