In the final game of the first round, current DFB-Pokal holders FC Bayer München recorded a comprehensive 3-1 victory over fourth tier Energie Cottbus. Elsewhere, Stuttgart overcame their fear of Hansa Rostock, Wolfsburg pulled through against a relentless Hallescher side and Karlsruher SC make their early season form count in the cup.
An eight-goal thriller that went all the way. Wolfsburg’s visit to Halle epitomised the magic of the DFB-Pokal, despite almost the entire first half passing by with barely a shot on target at either end. Felix Drinkuth was the man who brought the game to life with a thunderous strike from distance almost breaking the back of Wolfsburg’s net.
The instant equaliser from talisman Wout Weghorst of Wolfsburg were a sign of things to come: Four minutes into the second half, Yannick Gerhardt put the Wolves in front, but Hallescher fought back just eight minutes later. Now perfectly poised, the game swung in Wolfsburg’s favour once again when Willian slotted the ball home from a Roussillon cross. The third-tier side had one last surprise for the spectators, as Mathias Fetsch equalised in dramatic fashion deep into stoppage time.
Extra time was full of promise, with Hallescher truly believing they could beat the Bundesliga outfit, but the additional 30 minutes of football provided a most contrasting story to the regulation 90. Wolfsburg struck immediately through Robin Knoche and before Hallescher could say the words ‘another equaliser’, Josip Brekalo had put the game to bed. With a two-goal cushion, there was no catching Woflsburg for a third time.
So far, so good for Karlsruher SC. Newly promoted, top of the league and now through to round two in the DFB-Pokal. The first half set the tone, with the hosts unfortunate not to go in front and their visitors struggling to get even a sight at goal, but the teams headed into the half-time break at 0-0.
After the restart, KSC made their dominance count through Lukas Gozurek, who broke through on goal and left the goalkeeper no chance with his strike from 18 yards. In the 61st minute, shortly after Hannover had had a goal disallowed for offside, Karlsruhe made their opponents pay: Marvin Pourie was brought down just inside the penalty area and Marvin Wanitzek killed the game with the resulting penalty kick.
For the second season running, Stuttgart travelled to Hansa Rostock for in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, where they have been eliminated on all four previous occasions. Just 12 minutes into this tie, Stuttgart were forced into a substitution which turned out to be the difference maker. Hamadi Al Ghaddioui nodded in the opener just six minutes after his introduction.
The remainder of the game was very-much in the balance, with Stuttgart having to hang on until the very end in order to finally overcome DFB-Pokal bogey team Hansa Rostock and qualify for the second round.
Bayern’s title defence began with a routine 3-1 win away at Energie Cottbus in the final match of the first round. Robert Lewandowski (31’), Kingsley Coman (65’) and Leon Goretzka (85’) scored the goals for the record winners, while Berkan Taz converted an injury time penalty (90’+3) for the hosts.
Energie proved a tricky nut to crack for the 2018/19 double winners, not least thanks to a heroic first-half performance from 19-year-old goalkeeper Lennart Moser. Robert Lewandowski’s almost found a way through, but saw his shot rattle the crossbar. The Poland international made amends on the half hour mark, volleying from close range from a rebounded Coman shot on goal.
Despite going behind, fourth-tier Cottbus continued with their disciplined approach, restricting Bayern to speculative efforts from range. Although they broke forward several times, Cottbus rarely tested Manuel Neuer’s goal.
Niko Kovac introduced Leon Goretzka in the 62nd minute and the Germany international had an immediate impact, assisting Coman’s powerfully-driven strike just a minute later and putting Cottbus out of sight with a goal of his own five minutes from the end.
A consolation penalty goal, but one Berkan Taz will remember nonetheless, gave the home fans something to cheer deep into injury time.