VfL Wolfsburg won the German Cup for the first time by defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in Berlin, ensuring there would be no victorious sendoff for Schwarzgelben coach Jürgen Klopp.
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VfL Wolfsburg won the German Cup for the first time with a 3-1 defeat of Borussia Dortmund in Jürgen Klopp's last game in charge of the Schwarzgelben.
Dortmund took an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Wolfsburg gradually acquired a foothold in the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin – venue for next weekend's UEFA Champions League decider – and ran out comfortable victors courtesy of goals from Luiz Gustavo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bas Dost.
"It was clear from the outset that this was going to be a difficult game," said Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking. "Our inexperience in finals was evident at the start, but the team found its way. We tried to give plenty of encouragement from the bench and it worked out in the end."
Wolfsburg, already assured of a 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage berth by virtue of their second-place finish in the Bundesliga, fell behind in the fifth minute, Aubameyang volleying in Shinji Kagawa's perfectly-weighted cross. Hecking's side would have equalised moments later but for Mitchell Langerak's superb stop to keep out Ivan Perišić's low shot.
The Wolves refused to buckle, though, and were rewarded midway through the opening period when Luiz Gustavo pounced on Naldo's parried free-kick. De Bruyne put Wolfsburg in front 11 minutes later, beating Langerak from almost 20 metres out with a low strike. Dost then headed in Perišić's cross to set the seal on the turnaround before the interval.
There were chances for both teams in the second half, with Kagawa hitting a post for Dortmund and Daniel Caligiuri going close at the other end. Klopp and Sebastian Kehl – who now heads into retirement – depart without a trophy this term, though Dortmund will be involved in qualifying for the UEFA Europa League having finished seventh in the German top flight.
"I don't begrudge Dieter Hecking and his boys [this victory]," said Klopp. "We did a lot of things right against opponents who are particularly dangerous on the counterattack, but unfortunately we were short of luck."