KAISERSLAUTERN: Crisis-club Kaiserslautern put their worries to one side by crushing Werder Bremen 3-0 on Tuesday to reach the German Cup final.
The four-times German champions, rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table and facing a struggle against not only relegation but also financial collapse, delighted their fans with a spirited display.
Brazilian midfielder Lincoln opened the scoring with a header from a Miroslav Klose cross in the eighth minute.
Germany striker Klose fired home from a Dimitrios Grammozis free kick to double the advantage on 52 minutes.
The home side then had defender Grammozis sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 63rd minute but still stayed on top, substitute Christian Timm racing into the box from a swift counter-attack to wrap it up with 10 minutes remaining
Kaiserslautern, German Cup winners in 1990 and 1996, go on to meet either Bayern Munich or Bayer Leverkusen, who play each other in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
Playing their seventh Cup final will bring a precious source of income to Kaiserslautern, who are over 30 million euros (US$32.72 million) in debt and had to sell their stadium to escape ruin.
If they were to meet Bayern in the May 31 final in Berlin, Kaiserslautern would almost certainly play in the UEFA Cup next season as the Munich club are 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and look set to qualify for the Champions League. – Reuters