The last set of eight DFB Pokal second round matches were played out on Wednesday with the usual cup excitement of lower league teams taking on their more glamorous opponents. So, what were the takeaways from Wednesday’s action?
1. Freiburg like a late goal (or two)
Last year’s beaten finalists Freiburg looked to be on the way out of the cup with the clock ticking down during injury time and St. Pauli leading 1-0 thanks to Lukas Daschner’s goal just before half time. They were not to be beaten though with Matthias Ginter heading in on 93 minutes to take the game to extra-time.
Then with penalties on the cards the Breisgauer hit another last-gasp goal with substitute Michael Gregoritsch scoring the winner in the 119th minute to stun the Hamburg visitors.
2. Somebody’s been practising penalties
Two of Wednesday’s ties went all the way to penalties, and both witnessed a near perfect set of spot-kicks. SC Paderborn dispatched all five of their penalties against Werder, who put away their first four with no trouble. Leonardo Bittencourt, who had scored during the 2-2 draw in normal time was the unfortunate player to miss Bremen’s fifth sending the 2. Bundesliga side through.
There were even more perfect efforts over at Sandhausen where fifteen consecutive penalties were put in the back of the net before Marcel Franke saw his shot saved by keeper Nikolai Rehnen. The hero for Sandhausen had only been brought on in the 120th minute to replace normal goalkeeper Patrick Drewes for the shoot-out.
3. Jude got a rest and was still the hero
Having played every minute of Borussia Dortmund’s ten Bundesliga matches, lus every minute in the Champions League as well as 90 minute in both England’s recent Nations Cup games, midfielder Jude Bellingham was finally given a rest and named as substitute for BVB for their trip to face Hannover.
Despite not being a starter, Bellingham was introduced as a 62nd minute substitute, he won and converted the penalty that put the game beyond Hannover at 2-0 on 72 minutes. He also managed a run-in with midfielder Max Besuschkow, which saw the Hannover man booked.
4. Is Michael Wimmer auditioning for the Stuttgart job?
After overseeing the Swabians’ first win of the season on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Bochum, the interim trainer went even better with a 6-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the Pokal to send Stuttgart through to the next round.
Granted the 2. Bundesliga side are struggling and didn’t offer a whole host of resistance, but the coach called in after the sacking of Pellegrino Matarazzo could just be making a case to be considered for the role full-time. Alfred Schreuder and Copenhagen trainer Jess Thorup are the front-runners for the vacant trainer position at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, but could Wimmer’s name be in the hat?
5. No third time lucky for Augsburg
Having beaten Bayern Munich earlier this season and also last season at the WWK Arena, hopes were high that Enrico Maaßen’s side could make it a hattrick and knock their Bavarian neighbours out of the DFB Pokal for good measure. Things looked promising with a 9th minute opener from Mads Pedersen, but Bayern were 3-1 up by the hour mark with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring twice and Joshua Kimmich drilling in. A Dayot Upamecano own-goal gave the home side hope, only for substitute Jamal Musiala to stick the final dagger in with a 74th minute goal to make it 4-2 to the visitors. Alphonso Davies scored a fifth on the counter in stoppage time to seal the victory and avenge the previous two losses.
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