1. FCK claims victory in first round of Pokal

Saturday’s continuous rain throughout many parts of Germany set the mood for many of the matches in the first round of the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal. Sixty-four teams in 32 matches were all striving for one thing: survival.

First, Bundesliga teams such as Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen, and Bayer Leverkusen were shown their way to the door by lesser and underestimated opponents. However, neither rain nor the failure of other top teams stopped 1. Fussball Club Kaiserslautern from succeeding. For its first official match of the season, 1. FCK was set up against fifth tier Berliner FC Dynamo, a club with a rich and more recently disappointing history.

During the time of the Berlin Wall, Iron Curtain and a divided Germany, the East Berlin based football club, BFC Dynamo, was one of the most successful clubs of the German Democratic Republic. In winning 10 GDR top tier titles, BFC Dynamo was the most successful club in the history of East Germany. However, since the reunification of Germany, the club has struggled immensely with no notable achievements besides moving between the fifth and seventh leagues in the past 20 years. Today, they were given another chance though ― another chance to prove that they can compete against Bundesliga teams.

Around 10,000 fans made it to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion in Berlin to watch the match between 1. FCK and BFC Dynamo Berlin. Aside from a bit of confidence inspired by the club’s legacy, the Berlin club showed little as they were completely outmatched.

Lining up in a 4-3-3 formation with Ivo Illicevic, Itay Shechter and Olcay Sahan leading the attack, 1. FCK dominated possession for the first 30 minutes, barely allowing their opponents to leave their half of the field. Head coach Marco Kurz’s new offense impressed during the entire match, showing off with accurate passing and tactical skills.

From the beginning, BFC Dynamo played almost solely on defense, attempting to stop 1. FCK’s early attacks on the goal, such as Sahan’s near miss on goal in the fourth minute. Sahan’s miss could not be accounted to BFC’s defense but only on the condition of the rain soaked pitch. However, it took only 17 minutes for the first goal to fall. Not even five minutes later, Leon Jessen crossed the ball from the left wing inside the box to Christian Tiffert for the second goal in the 23rd minute.

The approximate 2,000 FCK supporters who made the 650-kilometer trip to Berlin used the two goal lead to overpower their rivals fans in song and celebration chanting “‘Lautern ist der geilste Club der Welt” (Kaiserslautern is the best club in the world!) A late first half attack led by BFC captain Gökhan Ahmetcik showed a bit of promise for the home side but was cut short by the end of the first half.
FCK used the start of the second half to seal the deal and scored in the 50th minute through a header by Thanos Petsos to set the score at 3:0, which would also be the final result of the match. The remainder of the match was without significant events and 1. FCK nonchalantly paced their way to victory of the fifth league side.

The fixtures of the next round of the DFB Pokal will be drawn Saturday, and the 1. FCK will also open up the first Bundesliga in an away match against Werder Bremen.

For more information on matches, the team or ticketing, visit www.fck.de.

(Courtesy of Dion Figueroa)