Borussia Dortmund U19 retained the A-Junioren Meisterschaft after beating Bayern Munich U19 on penalties.
The side, led by Benjamin Hoffmann, went toe-to-toe with the Bayern youngsters for 120 minutes of occasionally thrilling football.
It all went down to spot kicks though, with just three players missing a total of 18 taken. After Timothy Tillman had the 17th saved, Amos Pieper converted for Dortmund to end the contest.
Dortmund with greater top level experience
This was the final of the national competition for under-19 sides in Germany, with Dortmund looking to retain the title won under now-VfB Stuttgart coach Hannes Wolf last season. Dortmund and Bayern both won their regional sections and successively navigated their way through two-legged semi-finals.
Defending champions Dortmund won both of their games against VfL Wolfsburg U19, however Bayern were taken all the way to penalties by Schalke 04 U19, with Mario Crnicki, only on the bench for the final, scoring the winning spot kick.
Dortmund had two players with first team experience in their starting line-up, Felix Passlack and Dzenis Burnic. Will Pulisic, cousin of Christian Pulisic (himself still young enough to qualify), was the substitute goalkeeper. Top scorer Jacob Bruun Larsen, who has also made one senior appearance, missed out due to a metatarsal injury.
Bayern had a couple of players who have been unused substitutes over the course of the season for the first team, namely defenders Marco Friedl and Felix Götze. Götze is of course the brother of Mario Götze.
Shabani has best chance of nervy first half
33,450 fans, a record for an under-19 final, filled out Signal Iduna Park, with notable attendees include Uli Hoeneß and Thomas Tuchel. However it was naturally a nervy start for both teams in front of such a large crowd.
Bayern had the best early chances through Meritan Shabani. An excellent ball from Benjamin Hadzic was crossed into the box by Niklas Tarnat, with Shabani heading it over. A few minutes later Dortmund failed to clear a corner, giving Shabani the chance to shoot over.
Dortmund had a better spell after that, but never gave Bayern goalkeeper Ron Thorben Hoffmann much to worry about. Burnic, Passlack and David Kopacz all went wide, with Götze heading clear a good cross from the latter.
It wouldn’t get much better, with the later stages of the first half littered with fouls and attacks that failed to reach fruition. Bayern were a little more effective, but Manuel Wintzheimer shot wide and an in-swinging free-kick was saved by Eike Bansen.
Dortmund can’t make chances count
Dortmund started the second half with a bang. In the first couple of minutes Dominik Wanner set up Kopacz for a superb chance – he got round Hoffmann but only hit the side netting. Just after that he had another shot kept out by the Bayern keeper.
The momentum would eventually fizzle out, but not before Passlack, a huge threat when he had the chance to advance from the back, managed to hit the post with his shot on its way out wide.
Bayern helped to bring the game back to life in the final 15 minutes, with Tillman denied when primed to shoot by a timely tackle, before having another attempt just a minute later saved by Bansen.
Dortmund dominated the closing minutes though. Substitute Jano Baxmann had two superb chances both saved by Hoffmann, but despite further pressure Dortmund couldn’t find a winner inside 90 minutes.
Tillman miss decisive in shootout
With numerous players clearly tiring towards the end of normal time, it was no surprise that the first half of extra time was uneventful. That was at least until Bayern thought they had scored when Maxime Awoudja headed in a free-kick from out wide, however it was disallowed for offside.
The game would ultimately drift to penalties, with Kopacz and Crnicki shooting over the bar, before with the final kick in open play Hüseyin Bulut struck wide after a free-kick had initially been cleared.
The shootout was played out in front of the Yellow Wall. Götze and Jan-Niklas Beste scored the first penalty each, however Matthais Stingl then went over for Bayern and Alexander Schulte’s effort was saved by Hoffmann.
The next 12 penalties were all then converted, before Tillman could only put his penalty straight into the path of Bansen. Pieper then stayed cool to finish to seal Dortmund’s seventh title at this level.