The second round of the DFB-Pokal produced its first shock result on Tuesday night, with Regionalliga Südwest leaders 1. FC Saarbrücken beating Bundesliga outfit 1. FC Köln 3-2. Former Billy Goat Dirk Lottner’s side also caused an upset in the first round, beating Bundesliga 2 club Jahn Regensburg.
Elsewhere in the early kick-offs, TSG Hoffenheim justified their role of favourites to win 2-0 at MSV Duisburg, 1. FC Union Berlin beat fellow Bundesliga club SC Freiburg 3-1 and VfB Stuttgart were 2-1 winners after extra time against Hamburger SV in an all Bundesliga 2 meeting.
Courtesy of their dramatic win in Völklingen, the location for their cup games, 1. FC Saarbrücken are into the DFB-Pokal last 16 for the first time in six years. After a goalless first half, the fourth-tier underdogs took a surprise 2-0 lead over 1. FC Köln courtesy of goals from former Effzeh player Christopher Schorch and Gillian Jurcher in the space of five minutes to send the home fans delirious.
Köln now dominated possession and were able to battle their way back to level terms. Jonas Hector and Simon Terodde goals made it 2-2 with just five minutes left to play, but just as it looked like we were heading for extra time, Tobias Jänicke popped up with a goal he’ll never forget to make it 3-2 to Saarbrücken at the death.
Duisburg found themselves on the back foot early on and remained that way for much of the match. Despite being the stronger of the two sides, Hoffenheim were unable to take advantage of their chances to take the lead. Ihlas Bebou (20’) and Dennis Geiger (39’) both saw their efforts thwarted by the woodwork, with Duisburg goalkeeper Leo Weinkauf making several key saves.
The second half continued much like the first, with Hoffenheim retaking control of the match. The Bundesliga outfit were helped along by a spot of luck as Florian Grillitsch’s shot took a deflection and landed in the back of the net (53’). Just six minutes later, Sargis Adamyan added another (59’). With a two-goal lead safely in hand, Hoffenheim eased up and ran out the clock. With the win, Hoffenheim advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 2014/15. As for Duisburg, the loss marks the eighth time in nine years that the second-tier side has failed to progress from the second round, after having reached the cup final in 2011.
Freiburg got off to a better start against Union, as the two Bundesliga sides faced off in the DFB-Pokal second round. Nico Schlotterbeck, who was facing off against his older brother Keven, nearly headed home a free kick from Vincenzo Grifo, but hit the post instead (9’). Freiburg looked most dangerous from set pieces, but it was Union who would take the lead first as Joshua Mees headed it home in the 36th minute to put his side ahead. However, Union would not be able to take their lead with them into the break, after Robin Koch headed home a late equaliser (45’+2).
The second half saw both teams trade blows, but with few chances on either end. Freiburg looked the more threatening of the two sides, but would end the night empty-handed. Just as it seemed as though the match was headed for extra time, both Robert Andrich (87’) and Christian Gentner (90’+2) scored late to secure Union’s place in the round of 16.
Three days after a thumping 6-2 victory in Bundesliga 2 action at the Volkspark, Hamburger SV got set to face Stuttgart once again. Nicolas Gonzalez got things off to an early start for the guests, as he converted from the spot in the 2nd minute. But, Stuttgart’s lead would hold for long, as Aaron Hunt equalised from the spot for HSV (16’). Stuttgart had the better chances during the first half, but were unable to make them count. The second half saw both sides evenly matched, and the score remained level as the match headed to extra time. Hamadi Al Ghaddiou had an instant impact off the bench, as he scored the winner in the 113th minute. Despite the late drama, HSV remain Stuttgart’s favourite Pokal opponent: Hamburg have been eliminated by Stuttgart in each of their five cup meetings.