Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa emphasised a need for his side to work together after their dramatic 3-2 extra time win over Hoffenheim in the DFB Pokal quarterfinal.
The 2013-14 runners up were lucky to reach extra time after falling behind 2-1 in the first half, with Pierre Aubameyang equalising before the hour mark and Sebastian Kehl providing the winner in the 107th minute.
“[Hoffenheim’s two goals] came from our mistakes,” Kagawa said after the match, “but as our manager said, that’s the state our team is currently in.
“In the end it’s important that we were able to fight back and it was good to win.”
The Samurai Blue star, who played all 120 minutes, praised an organised Hoffenheim counter attack which led to two goals in a seven-minute span.
“Their counters were very sharp, and their defenders played very deep,” the former Manchester United star reflected. “We needed to do a better job of holding the ball into the final third and creating something there.
“We lacked accuracy and had trouble establishing a rhythm. As a team we need to decide together how we want to attack.”
The cup tournament represents the last chance for Dortmund, who currently occupy the Bundesliga’s 10th spot, to earn silverware this season.
“We have to prepare well for these last two matches,” Kagawa said. “Tactics, technique, mental strength; all are equally important.”