Holstein Kiel pulled off the biggest upset in the club’s history in the final match of round two, beating record holders FC Bayern München on penalties. Kiel will now face fellow 2. Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98 in the last 16 on 2nd/3rd February.
Germany international Serge Gnabry opened the scoring for Bayern early on (14'), before Fin Bartels finished off a perfect counter attack to level things at the break (37'). Leroy Sané looked to have booked his side’s spot in the last 16 with a stunning free kick shortly after the restart (47'), but a Hauke Wahl’s headed equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time took the game to extra time. Bartels scored the winning penalty in a perfect shootout for the hosts, as Bayern exited the competition at the second round for the first time since 2000/01.
Bayern assumed control early on, keeping the hosts pinned in their own half. Joshua Kimmich registered the first shot of the game, a speculative long-range effort off target. The next chance wasn’t so forgiving for the hosts, however, as Gnabry swept the opening goal into an empty net after Kiel goalkeeper Ioannis Geilos had initially denied Thomas Müller’s header (14').
The visitors continued to dominate and almost doubled the lead when Gnabry’s curling effort that flew narrowly wide of the post (26'). But in a moment of sheer brilliance, as Jannik Dehm picked out Bartels on the break with a perfectly-timed pass, Kiel suddenly found themselves level; the 33-year-old – who had lost all of his previous 12 matches against Bayern – keeping his cool to slot calmly past Manuel Neuer.
The sides went into the break on even terms, but the Bavarian giants struck immediately upon the restart. An inch-perfect free kick curled into the top corner from 20 yards by Sané seemed to restore order in the match (47').
Bayern’s 17 year old sensation Jamal Musiala almost found the all-important third with a low-driven shot that rattled the upright (66'), but their struggles to score only emboldened the plucky underdogs. Joshua Mees found himself 1v1 against Neuer (69‘), but the Germany captain stood firm to protect his side’s lead.
As hope appeared to be slipping and Bayern’s spot in the last 16 seemed secure, the unlikeliest of pre-match scenarios came true: deep into stoppage time, a half-volleyed cross from Johannes van den Bergh landed perfectly for Wahl, who flicked the ball deftly into far corner of Neuer’s goal. 2-2 with the last kick of regulation time.
Bayern inevitably ramped up the pressure in extra time, bombarding the Kiel defence with attack after attack, but the underdogs defended valiantly to take the game to a penalty shootout.
After ten converted penalties, Bayern’s Marc Roca was the first to be denied, handing match point to Holstein Kiel. And who better to step up for the match-winning kick than the man who began his career at the club 17 years ago: Fin Bartels.
An historic victory for Hostein Kiel in their first ever encounter against the record holders FC Bayern München.