Last year’s finalists RB Leipzig cantered past VfL in the DFB Pokal. Julian Nagelsmann’s side ended a run of four games without a win, thrashing the Wolves by six goals to nil. This was Wolfsburg’s first defeat under new head coach Oliver Glasner.
A Jeffrey Bruma own goal kicked off proceedings. The ball ricocheted off VfL goalkeeper Pavao Pervan, which struck the Dutch defender and ended up in the back of the net (13’). Wolfsburg reacted well and largely controlled the game for the rest of the half.
The Wolves started the second half well, with Brekalo almost grabbing the equaliser from around 15 metres out (47’). The two teams seemed to be trading blows until Sabitzer played a one-two with Timo Werner’s pass and slotted home to make it 2-0 (55’). It was one-way traffic from then on and Emil Forsberg extended the Bulls’ lead just three minutes later (58’). Konrad got in on the scoring (61’) and Timo Werner grabbed a late brace to seal the deal for Leipzig (68’, 88’). Wout Weghorst grabbed a late goal for the hosts just before the final whistle, but it was little consolation after a torrid second half performance.
Werder Bremen made a perfect start to their game against second tier Heidenheim. With goals from Rashica (6’), Bittencourt (11’) and Klaassen (18’), the hosts had the tie wrapped up in less than 20 minutes.
Kohfeldt’s men did not take their foot off the gas, but had to wait until the 41st minute to add to their tally. Fullback Marco Friedl broke into the penalty area and slotted past the keeper for 4-0. Just before the half-time break, the visitors scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot.
With a place in the last 16 practically confirmed, Werder saw the second half out comfortably against last season’s shock quarterfinalists without adding any more goals. The game ended 4-1.
Timmy Thiele was on target from the spot after just eight minutes to put Kaiserslautern in front, but their lead was quickly cancelled out by Lukas Jäger. A lively half of football ended with one goal apiece.
Nürnberg started well in the second half, but found themselves trailing again in the 74th minute, once again from a Thiele penalty. The away side’s equaliser was the result of a truly bizarre incident involving Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Lennart Grill, who placed the ball in front of him, unaware of the lurking Michael Frey, who nipped in to steal the ball and send the game to extra time.
With penalties on the horizon, the Nürnberg goalkeeper Patric Klandt was forced off through injury and with no substitutes remaining, right back Enrico Valentini pulled on the gloves to stand in for the shootout. It was the kind of story only the DFB-Pokal could write, but in the end, it was Lennart Grill and Kaiserslautern who celebrated after the goalkeeper redeemed himself with a save in sudden death.
Regionalliga side SC Verl hosted Holstein Kiel in their first ever appearance in this stage of the DFB Pokal. Kiel looked to be on top in the initial stages and the gulf in quality seemed to be apparent. The away side grabbed the lead through Janni-Luca Serra (13’) and it seemd as though Kiel would run away with it. However, the hosts reacted well and put in a brave performance for the remainder of the first half. Against all odds, Verl equalised just before half time. Nico Hecker rose tallest in the box and planted the header firmly in the bottom corner.
The second half featured lots of back-and-forth football with both sides looking to score what would have been the winning goal. Yet neither team could find that all important second goal, and the referee whistled the second half dead, with the scores still locked at 1-1. A largely uneventful period of extra time was underpinned by a moment of late drama. Aygün Yıldırım found himself free in the box and latched onto the ball with an outstretched leg, but the shot flew over the bar, agonisingly close to going in. So an intriguing duel between two mismatched sides went to penalties. Against all odds, the underdogs got the job done at home, sparking wild scenes of jubilation in Verl.
Billed as the tie of the round, the clash of Borussias was more intense than eventful in the first half, and indeed for most of the second. In the 70th minute, an unmarked Marcus Thuram leapt up to provide the breakthrough in front of the travelling Gladbach fans, but the limelight would soon be taken from him.
Julian Brandt kick-started a wave of Dortmund pressure, which he finished off himself via a deflection to level the score in the 77th minute. Not two minutes later, the young Germany international was on-hand again, this time heading into the bottom corner to send the Yellow Wall wild. Two strokes of individual genius in quick succession saw Dortmund book their place in the last 16.
Eintracht Frankfurt travelled to the Millerntor for only their second ever DFB-Pokal tie with FC St. Pauli. The Eagles came out of the block quickly as perennial goalscorer Bas Dost rose highest in the bow and daintily flicked the ball on with his head. The ball looped over St. Pauli stopper Korbinian Müller and into the top right corner (4’). Just eight minutes later, the Dutchman was on hand to extend Frankfurt’s lead. Dost burst into the box with the ball at his feet and produced a cultured chip, which Müller could only just get a hand to, unable to keep the ball out of the net. The home side pulled one back in the 42nd minute, with Waldemar Sobota converting well from the penalty spot.
Eintracht controlled the tempo of the second half, not allowing St. Pauli a foothold in the game. In the end, Dost’s first-half brace was enough to see the Eagles through to the last 16.
An estimated 35,000 Dynamo Dresden fans made the midweek trip to the capital to watch their team take on Hertha Berlin in the Olympiastadion. They were treated to a thriller as the game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes. The second tier team took the lead after 36 minutes, sparking wild celebrations from the huge cohort of away fans. Moussa Koné found himself all alone in front of goal, but still with a lot to do as he was some distance out. The Senegalese striker kept his cool and slotted it home, leaving Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft with no chance to save it. The score line remained at 1-0 for the rest of the first half.
Hertha came flying out of the blocks after the break. In-form striker Dodi Lukebakio made a clever run to the back post and completed the easy finish from a Marius Wolf cross (48’). What followed was a dominant yet frustrating period of play for the home side. Javairo Dilrosun hit the crossbar (56’) and just three minutes later ex-Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou hit the post. The deadlock was finally broken after 86 minutes; midfielder Ondrej Dude swept home from the penalty spot and it looked as though the Bundesliga side were home and dry. Yet there was another twist to the tail and Dynamo equalised in the 90th minute. Another late penalty was given, this time in favour of the men in yellow, and veteran centre back Patrick Ebert would not be denied.
So it finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and extra time beckoned. However, Hertha could not muster the same strength, with which they had begun the second half of normal time. The home side looked flat, while the away support seemed to spur the Dresden players on. The roof was almost blown off by the celebrations of the Dynamo fans when the 21-year-old Slovenian Luka Štor smashed it underneath Thomas Kraft (108’). It all looked lost for Hertha Berlin, but somehow the home side found a way. In injury time in the second half of extra time, Jordan Torunarigha smashed it home from around 11 metres out after the ball dropped kindly to him in the penalty area. The 22-year-old’s strike was the last kick of extra time, and this thrilling match went to penalties.
Patrick Ebert was first up for Dynamo Dresden and, just like in normal time, he converted confidently. Vedad Ibisevic responded for the home side, slamming his successful penalty off the underside of the bar. The two sides traded blows to make it 5-5, and then Jannik Müller’s penalty was saved by Thomas Kraft. With the scores at 6-6, Karim Rekik blasted it over the bar, then Štor was forced to retake his missed penalty as Kraft came off his line. The Slovenian converted the retake and momentum seemed to be with Dynamo. Selke empathetically replied and the score was 7-7. Dresden’s next penalty was again saved by Kraft, before Marko Grujic stepped up to slam it home and win it for Hertha.
After conceding an early goal, Fortuna Düsseldorf faced a tough fight to overcome second division side Erzgebirge Aue. For most of the first half, an upset looked very-much on the cards, but Düsseldorf’s reliable talisman stepped up from the spot to equalise on the stroke of half time.
With 15 minutes remaining, centre back Kasim Adams finished off a set-piece with a fine strike, one which would prove to be the winner as Funkel’s men held off any late threat from the visitors.