Dortmund boss slams Sokratis

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has slammed key defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for his ‘unnecessary’ sending-off before their 3-2 German Cup penalty shoot-out 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 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 shoot out.
“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 shoot-out 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 shoot-out 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 half-time 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 shoot-out. “That was commendable,” added Tuchel. — AFP