The biggest shock in the last 16 of the 2021/22 DFB-Pokal has already been produced, even with four more ties left to play. Bundesliga 2 leaders FC St. Pauli were 2-1 winners over title-holders Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, blowing the battle for the coveted trophy wide open. With Bayern also knocked out in the second round, this season’s cup final will not feature either of Germany’s powerhouses for the first time since 2010/11.
St. Pauli have been playing some brilliant football this season, currently topping a very competitive second division. Many had anticipated an exciting game, but few would have predicted the Hamburg-based club to lead 2-0 at the break at the Millerntor. Etienne Amenyido opened the scoring from close range after just four minutes, with an Axel Witsel own goal giving the hosts a two-goal cushion (40’). A handball in the box allowed Erling Haaland to bring BVB back within touching distance (58’), but St. Pauli held firm for the remaining half hour to condemn the defending champions to a last-16 exit and secure themselves a place in the quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years.
VfL Bochum got revenge for their 1-0 Bundesliga defeat to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on the weekend, coming from behind to claim a 3-1 win. Milos Pantovic was the hero for Thomas Reis’ side, scoring two goals in the space of four second-half minutes.
Things had started well for Mainz, with Karim Onisiwo putting the visitors in front when goalkeeper Manuel Riemann spilled a long-range effort, allowing the Austrian to stab the loose ball home (36’). VfL stepped things up a gear after the break though, and a penalty kick gave Pantovic the opportunity to level the scores (56’). That soon became a quickfire double, as the Bochum attacker rounded off a counterattack with a delightful chip over Robin Zentner (59’). Eduard Löwen added a third in the 80th minute to make it back-to-back cup exits at the hands of Bochum for Mainz 05, having also lost to them on penalties in last season’s second round.
1. FC Köln were left cursing their luck as Hamburger SV claimed a 4-3 penalty shootout win to reach the quarterfinals, with Florian Kainz at the centre of a bizarre moment that had some experts scrambling for the rule book.
It was a hard-fought 90 minutes, albeit with no goals from either side. HSV then wasted no time in taking the lead once extra time began, as Robert Glatzel headed in from a cross after 92 minutes. Steffen Baumgart’s side were on the brink of exiting the competition, before a pull on Anthony Modeste in the box gave the Frenchman the chance to level the scores from the penalty spot in the 121st minute and force a shootout. Köln’s Florian Kainz stepped up for the tenth spot-kick needing to convert to force sudden death, and he thought he had done so. However, his shot had taken a slight deflection off his standing foot. The eagle-eyed referees quickly spotted the double-touch infraction, which resulted in the penalty being ruled out to hand HSV victory.
The only remaining third-tier side 1860 München were unable to keep the 3. Liga flag flying in the quarterfinals, losing 1-0 to Bundesliga 2 outfit Karlsruher SC.
Both sides went into the tie off the back of cupsets in the second round, with hosts 1860 having knocked out Schalke 04, while Karlsruhe had pulled off a giant-killing against Bayer Leverkusen. KSC were the favourites this time against their lower-division opposition, although it was a fairly even encounter at the Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße. The away side increased the pressure in the second half, and it told when a penalty was given for handball. Marvin Wanitzek sent the goalkeeper the wrong way after 69 minutes to break the deadlock, and it was enough to secure Karlsruhe’s place in the final eight.###more###