Bayern Munich loses German Cup final after controversial penalty no-call

Bayern Munich’s 2017-18 season ended in dramatic, controversial and disappointing fashion on Saturday – with only one trophy after a 3-1 DFB Pokal final loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

But many Bayern fans will feel their team should have had 30 more minutes to claim a second. Deep in stoppage time, Javi Martinez was cleaned out by Kevin-Prince Boateng’s clumsy clearance attempt in the penalty area:

Bayern players immediately surrounded the referee, who put his hand to his ear, then signaled for a VAR review. He himself went over to the side of the field to watch the replay. Everybody in the stadium, along with everybody watching on TV, assumed he would come away from the pitchside monitor and point to the penalty spot.

Instead, incredibly, he pointed to the corner, and upheld the call on the field.

From that corner, with Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich up from the back, Frankfurt broke away. Mijat Gacinovic’s empty-net goal clinched victory.

It was the final kick of the game. It incited incredible scenes. Frankfurt’s entire bench ran the half-length of the field to celebrate. So did manager Nico Kovac, who will now take over at Bayern as the German superclub’s new boss.

That won’t be any consolation to Bayern players, who again fumed with the referee at the final whistle as Frankfurt celebrated. Bayern season, yet again, will be deemed a disappointment. The Bavarians ran away with the Bundesliga, prompting worry about the direction of the league. Their fans, though, want more. Bayern couldn’t give them more.

But that, as they say, is the magic of the cup. Anything can happen in a one-off game. “Anything” included an Ante Rebic double on Saturday, and a memorable Frankfurt upset.

Bayern’s Javi Martinez lies on the ground during the German soccer cup final match between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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