On Tuesday evening, Bundesliga sides 1899 Hoffenheim and Schalke 04 advanced to the round of eight in the DFB Pokal Cup. Hoffenheim defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0, while Schalke downed 2. Bundesliga side FC Augsburg 1-0 before a packed house at Impuls Arena. Third round matches between OFC Kickers – Nurnberg and TUS Koblenz-Kaiserslautern scheduled for Tuesday were postponed due to snow.
Hoffenheim scored their first goal at the 35th minute mark as Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson came through for Ralf Rangnick’s club. Hoffenheim, currently eighth in the Bundesliga table despite their + 10 goal differential, added an insurance goal a little past the hour mark when Senegalese striker Demba Ba beat Gladbach keeper Christofer Heimeroth. Daniel Haas got the shutout in goal for Hoffenheim. The loss adds more misery onto Coach Michael Frontzeck and his Foals, who could have used some Cup glory to offset their last place standing in the Bundesliga table going into winter break.
In Bavaria, FC Augsburg and Schalke 04 slugged it out in a match devoid of many highlights. Augsburg played well defensively but could not muster much on attack, while Schalke looked tired. As the game wore on in a scoreless state, it looked as though the match would go into extra time. Peruvian international Jefferson Farfan, however, took care of that. With six minutes remaining in regulation play, Schalke’s Raul worked hard dribbling through Augsburg defenders near the top of the box before dishing off to his right to Farfan, who carefully finished to give Schalke a 1-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Credit German international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with the clean sheet.
Coach Felix Magath has the Royal Blues getting results now after a slow start, and if they continue their current form after the winter break, they should be a very interesting club. Augsburg is tied for first in 2.Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin in their race for promotion. There are eight 2. Bundesliga teams within six points of Augsburg and Hertha Berlin.
On Wednesday in Cup action, VfL Wolfsburg will host Energie Cottbus, FC Koln will welcome MSV Duisburg and Vfb Stuttgart will look for revenge against Bayern Munich following Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Die Bayern. Wolfsburg, FC Koln and Stuttgart have the opportunity to add some luster to their otherwise poor first halves of the Bundesliga season with wins tomorrow. Also, Alemannia Aachen will host Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt are coming off their huge win over Borussia Dortmund over the weekend and will be looking to advance into the next round of the Cup. The match between OFC Kickers and Nurnberg will apparently be played on Tuesday January 18 after today’s postponement.
Notes: Kudos to the managers for playing their first team squads, and taking the Cup seriously.
Hoffenheim Lineup: Haas, Compper, Vorsah, Ibertsberger, Beck, Dias, Rudy, Salihovic, Vukcevic, Ba, Sigurdsson Subs Used: Mlapa 80′ (for Ba), Thomalla 89′ (for Sigurdsson), Jaissle 90′ (for Dias)
Gladbach Lineup: Heimeroth, Daems, Callsen-Bracker, Wissing, Levels, Bradley, Marx. Neustadter, Arango, Reus, De Camargo Subs Used: Hermann 45′ (for Marx), Matmour 67′ (for Arango), Backer 89′ (for Reus)
Augsburg Lineup: Jentzsch, Sankoh, Mohrle, Bellinghausen, Verhaegh, Kwakman, Brinkmann, Werner, Hain, Rafael, Ohrle Subs Used: Bertram 60′ (for Rafael), Thurk 75′ (for Werner)
Schalke Lineup: Neuer, Metzelder, Howedes, Schmitz, Uchida, Rakitic, Kluge, Jurado, Farfan, Raul, Huntelaar Subs Used: Edu 54′ (for Jurado), Papadopoulos 89′ (for Edu), Matip 90′ (for Uchida)
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