Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has slammed key defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for his ‘unnecessary’ sending-off before their 3-2 German Cup penalty shootout win over Hertha Berlin.
Greece international Sokratis was shown two yellow cards in quick succession for repeatedly complaining to referee Deniz Aytekin when a free-kick was awarded against him.
He was sent off in the 119th minute, seconds before the final whistle brought the match to a close at 1-1 after extra time. Dortmund went on to win the shootout.
“A double yellow for complaining – there are few more unnecessary yellow-red cards than that,” fumed Tuchel.
As it turned out, Salomon Kalou’s miss for Hertha in the penalty shootout put Dortmund in the quarterfinals to spare Sokratis’ blushes – not that he would have been called up to take a spot-kick.
“‘Papa’ wasn’t on the list of penalty takers – we had done everything so that he didn’t have to take one,” added Tuchel.
The decision to leave Sokratis off the list of penalty-takers was no doubt inspired by his miss in May’s German Cup final when Bayern beat Dortmund 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw in Berlin.
Centre-back Sokratis is now suspended for Dortmund’s cup quarterfinal at Sportfreunde Lotte at the end of the month.
The third division giant-killers have beaten Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen and 1860 Munich on the way to the last eight.
Dortmund were made to work for Wednesday’s third-round win over Berlin as they equalised through Germany winger Marco Reus after Kalou’s volley gave Hertha an halftime lead.
Four Dortmund players finished the 120 minutes with knocks, including winger Ousmane Dembele, who had to be stretchered off with what Tuchel described as ‘full-body cramp’.
But the French teenager came back on to finish the match and converted Borussia’s first penalty in the shootout. “That was commendable,” added Tuchel.
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