VfB Stuttgart secured their spot in the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals with a very late turnaround at SC Paderborn. The second-tier side were leading 1-0 going into the closing stages thanks to a bizarre own goal from Konstantinos Mavropanos after just four minutes, but new signing Gil Dias’ 86th-minute equaliser was followed up by a Serhou Guirassy winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure a 2-1 victory.
SCP took the lead with the first meaningful moment of the match, albeit without any involvement of their own. A Stuttgart throw-in to Mavropanos was then thumped back towards his own goal, but keeper Florian Müller wasn’t in a central position and couldn’t stop the ball from finding the net (4’). VfB had to dust themselves off, but soon had chances of their own through Guirassy’s free-kick (10’) and a Atakan Karazor’s effort from a corner (12’).
The visitors continued to look the better side for the remainder of the first half, but were unable to create meaningful moments in front of goal in spite of their 70 percent possession. Paderborn offered more of a threat on the counter in the second half, with Sirlord Conteh just beaten to the ball by Müller before he could shoot just shy of the hour mark (59’). Conteh then turned provider with a cross to the back post for Felix Platte, but the striker couldn’t keep his volley down (70’).
With time running out for Stuttgart, substitute Dias produced a moment of magic, cutting inside on the edge of the box and curling a shot past Jannik Huth to mark his debut with an equalising goal (86’). Bruno Labaddia’s side clearly weren’t content to play for extra time either, forcing Paderborn deep in the final exchanges and ultimately winning a corner. Guirassy climbed highest and headed home with venom (90+5’) to send VfB into the cup quarterfinals for the first time in seven years.###more###