BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund overcame a stubborn challenge from third-division Uerdingen and a reunion with World Cup winner Kevin Großkreutz to win 2-0 in the first round of the German Cup on Friday.
Marco Reus and Paco Alcácer both scored for Dortmund, which simply had too much firepower for the designated home team despite a fine performance from Uerdingen goalkeeper Lukas Königshofer in Düsseldorf.
“It wasn’t more difficult than expected. We knew what to expect,” Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl said. “Lots can happen in the first round, also for the smaller teams. That’s why we had to work.”
Großkreutz, a Dortmund fan who played for his hometown team from 2009-2015, was celebrated by visiting fans before the game.
“It was great to see the old colleagues and the fans. Borussia Dortmund will always be my team,” said Großkreutz, who had organized 200 tickets for family and friends.
The 31-year-old Großkreutz responded by clearing Lukasz Piszczek’s header off the line in the fifth minute.
Mats Hummels endured a difficult debut in his first game back for Dortmund. The former Germany defender, who rejoined from Bayern Munich, was fortunate to avoid a yellow card before a mistake almost gave Uerdingen the lead minutes before the break.
Osayamen Osawe dragged his shot wide when he only had goalkeeper Marwin Hitz to beat.
Reus broke the deadlock four minutes after the break, though TV replays showed he may have used his right arm to control Manuel Akanji’s cross before he scored, and Alcácer curled in a brilliant free kick to seal the result in the 70th minute.
GLADBACH, NUREMBERG THROUGH
Marcus Thuram, the son of former French defender Lilian Thuram, scored in the 19th minute of his debut for Borussia Mönchengladbach to progress with a somewhat fortunate 1-0 win over SV Sandhausen.