Lubeck coach fumes at Bremen winner
By Thomas Zeh
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Nelson-Haedo Valdez (pictured) netted the controversial goal that booked the Bundelsiga leaders their place in the final to take place in Berlin, where they will play the winners of Second Division Aachen Armannia or Borussia Monchengladbach.
With only six minutes to play, the Paraguay youngster appeared to have stopped the ball with his hand before his well-placed shot from 20 yards destroyed what would have been the Division Two outfit's biggest-ever success, leaving Hecking fuming.
"It was an obvious handball and I'd rather we conceded five goals than lose the way we did. It's the worst possible defeat if you lose at the Bundesliga pace-setters after such an outstanding performance," fumed Hecking.
Lubeck took the lead through an own goal by Bremen defender Mladen Krstajic before Johan Micoud's second half strike sent the game into extra time.
The 40,000 fans at the Weserstadion were stunned when Feridorn Zandi gave the underdogs a sensational 2-1 lead which lasted until in-form Ailton levelled for the hosts after 110 minutes before Valdez' winner finally ended Lubeck's hopes to take the game into penalties.
"I don't think that it was a deliberate handball," declared Werder coach Thomas Schaaf, who heaped praise on the visitors.
"We didn't play too bad, but it was Lubeck who run most of the game. They played like a First Division team, it was a sensational performance from them while my players seemed to suffer from tired legs.
"We did not mark them properly and let them play their game, but we did strike back in the end," Schaaf concluded.
Match winner Valdez, who only came on in extra-time for defender Paul Stalteri, admitted that the second division underdogs gave Werder a mountain to climb.
"That was probably the hardest game for us so far, but it was a dream coming true for any footballer: I rushed from the bench and scored the winner," smiled the young striker, who believes that Werder will end the season with the Bundesliga title and the German Cup.
"Now we want to keep on going and win the double this season," smiled the 20-year-old.