Gonzalo Castro conceded Borussia Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal win over Sportfreunde Lotte was always going to be a case of substance over style.
The quarter-final tie had to be rearranged and relocated, Dortmund’s third-tier hosts forced to hold the match in Osnabruck after heavy snowfall damaged the pitch at their Frimo Stadion.
Lotte had already dumped out Bundesliga sides Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen in previous rounds, but Dortmund avoided another upset with a 3-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Christian Pulisic, Andre Schurrle and Marcel Schmelzer.
“We weren’t looking to pick up any prizes for attractive football, we just wanted to get through,” said Castro, who made way for 17-year-old Alexander Isak to make his debut four minutes from time.
“That’s why we adapted our style of play to the pitch conditions. We knew that Lotte would come racing out of the blocks in the first 20 minutes, but we were also aware that that would play into our hands if we didn’t concede a goal in that time.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 14, 2017
Head coach Thomas Tuchel was pleased to see his side deal efficiently with the trying conditions as Dortmund set up a semi-final meeting with Bayern Munich.
“I’m very happy because it was a very difficult match,” he said. “The pitch was difficult to play on, the opposition performed very well too. In fact, it all went as we expected.
“I’d like to pay a big compliment to my team. My players recognised that rather than just being about individual quality, it was about attitude, character and team spirit. That was crucial and that’s why we won.”