Holstein Kiel created a DFB-Pokal sensation on Wednesday night. The second-tier side beat title holders and treble winners FC Bayern München 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw and booked their place in the last 16. Kiel’s head coach Ole Werner spoke to DFB.de about what made the win possible and about the post-game euphoria in Kiel.
Question: Mr Werner, talk us through the game from your perspective?
Ole Werner: I think everyone in Kiel will be glad they stayed up late for this one. For us it was obviously an extraordinary experience, but I think we deserved it. Obviously we had a tough task defensively to start with, but a team like FC Bayern are always going to create chances, that’s unavoidable. It was frustrating that their goal to make it 1-0 was apparently offside, but we responded well, stuck to our plan and we were able to scorer the equaliser from a situation we were well prepared for. In the second half we went behind quickly through an incredible free-kick. Once again, though, we responded well and believed in ourselves until the last second of stoppage time.
Question: What was the key to success?
Werner: I think the key to us winning was that we trusted in our own ability to win this game with a certain style of play and with the corresponding efficiency. At the end of the day, a penalty shootout is always a game of luck, but the fact that all six of our takers converted their penalties reflects the kind of clarity my players had for the whole 120 plus minutes. I think we and everyone connected with the club will be thinking about this game for many years to come. We are very proud of the performance. Something like this probably only happens once in a lifetime.
Question: You get the impression the whole city is going crazy. The cars were honking their horns outside the stadium and the fireworks were going off. Are you already realising what this means to the people of the city?
Werner: (laughs) No, we haven’t fully realised it yet. But you can imagine what it means to them, you can imagine a club like Holstein Kiel don’t experience moments like this very often. As I said: We are very proud. And we are happy we were able to give our fans, who couldn’t be at the game, something to celebrate in front of their TVs, especially in challenging times for us all. This makes us all the more pleased that we were able to improve the mood with an historic result.
Question: One question on Bayern: Watching this team in the Champions League final and then seeing them today, what is the difference?
Werner: It's not my place to talk about differences at FC Bayern. I have to admit, I didn’t watch the Champions League final all-too closely. I can only say that my team put up an outstanding fight today and did some.
Question: Bayern München have conceded a lot of goals from through balls recently. Your team’s first equaliser also came from this kind of situation. Did you tell your team that Bayern are vulnerable here?
Werner: We prepared the team for these situations because it was clear from the match up that they would come about. We had to assume that Bayern would have more possession and would press really high up the pitch in our half when they lost the ball. To do this, they need a high back four, so we were playing the balls forward a lot sooner than usual.
Question: How difficult will it be to calm your team down emotionally after this result and prepare them for Sunday’s league game against Karlsruher SC?
Werner: That will be a challenge, because it has been an extraordinary experience for us all. To move on and concentrate on the next task will be a tough task both mentally and physically. But a result like this can give you wind in your sails too. I’m hoping this will be the case – the league is our priority. We want to achieve something there.