Bundesliga Daily – shocks aplenty in DFB Pokal

The Bundesliga may have closed for the winter break, but there was some unfinished business before Germany’s footballers could put their feet up for the holidays. The DFB Pokal, the German equivalent of the FA Cup, saw the round of 16 played over Tuesday and Wednesday night, and as in the English version there has been the usual share of shocks.

The opening round of the competition took place on the weekend before the league season commenced back in August. Two Bundesliga sides crashed out at this stage: newly promoted St Pauli lost to FC Chemnitzer 1-0 and Hannover 96 were beaten by SV Elversberg 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Both winning sides play in the regional leagues which form the fourth tier of German football.

The second round took place at the end of October. Six Bundesliga clubs fell at this stage. SC Freiburg lost 2-1 at 2. Bundesliga (second division) side Energie Cottbus and FC Mainz fell to Allemannia Aachen by the same scoreline. There were three all-Bundesliga ties – Eintracht Frankfurt thrashed SV Hamburg 5-2, Bayer Leverkusen were beaten by Borussia Monchengladbach on penalties, and in a repeat of last year’s final, Bayern Munich triumphed again, this time 2-1 over Werder Bremen. The biggest shock though saw runaway league leaders Borussia Dortmund go out to 3rd Division Kickers Offenbach in a penalty shoot-out, the Liga 3 side triumphing 4-2 from the spot.

Offenbach’s reward was a home tie against another Bundesliga side, 1 FC Nuremburg, but Tuesday’s match was postponed due to heavy snow. Fellow 3rd Division side TuS Koblenz also saw their tie against 1.FC Kaiserslautern postponed for the same reason. Both sides will now have to wait until after the winter break for their chance to reach the quarter-finals.

Tuesday night saw 2. Bundesliga leaders FC Augsburg take on Schalke 04. A tight game saw the deadlock broken eight minutes from time when Raul showed wonderful skill to hold up the ball, drawing three defenders before rolling to Jefferson Farfan to drive home from 10 yards. The goal gave Augsburg no chance to come back and saw Schalke through to the quarter-finals. The nights other game saw 1899 Hoffenheim heap further misery on bottom side Borussia Monchengladbach with a 2-0 victory.

Wednesday night saw a repeat of Sunday’s Bundesliga clash between VfB Stuttgart and Bayern Munich. After eight goals between the two sides on Sunday, no-one would have expected back-to-back goal fests, but the holders Bayern triumphed again, this time with a 6-3 win. The visitors were two up in eight minutes through Andreas Ottl and Mario Gomez. Stuttgart levelled through two goals from Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, but seven minutes into the second half substitute Miroslav Klose put Bayern back in front. Stuttgart equalised again 13 minutes from time through Matthieu Delpierre but three goals in the last nine minutes from Thomas Muller, Klose again and Franck Ribery sealed a 6-3 win.

The other games saw 1.FC Koln fall to second division MSV Duisburg 2-1 whilst Energie Cottbus heap more pressure on Steve McLaren by knocking out his VfL Wolfsburg side with a 3-1 win. Giant killers Aachen struck again knocking out Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

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