Lublin - Hannover 96 capped off their involvement in the Bundesliga World Tour 2015 with a 5-3 penalty shoot-out win over KS Lechia Gdansk in Sunday’s Lublin Cup final.
All square after 90 minutes
Kenan Karaman scored with a minute of normal time remaining to send the tie to penalties and while the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim academy graduate missed from the spot, 22-year-old goalkeeper Samuel Radlinger made two fine saves from 12 yards to settle the contest in the Reds’ favour.
The trophy was the least Hannover deserved after a dominant first-half showing at the Arena Lublin. Sebastian Ernst and Artur Sobiech went close inside three minutes, before the two combined to near-devastating effect late in the first half. Ernst was the provider, but Polish forward Sobiech could only find the post.
The woodwork came to Lechia’s rescue once again as Ceyhun Gülselam went within millimetres of giving Michael Frontzeck’s side the lead early in the second half. Gdansk managed to pull ahead when Stojan Vranjes poked in from close range after Radlinger saved his initial spot-kick, only for Karaman to level with 60 seconds of normal time remaining.
For the fans
Despite seeing Karaman strike the crossbar with the opening kick of the shoot-out, Hannover went on to convert their remaining four penalties through Gülselam, Manuel Schmiedebach, Charlison Benschop and Christian Schulz, with Radlinger saving two of Lechia’s efforts.
Jaded but jubilant, the Hannover players later celebrated their Polish triumph with the travelling fans…
Translation: Never alone: the fans had our backs once again today - thanks for that!
Translation: That's what winners look like. Congratulations lads!