DFB Pokal Cup: Excitement and Upsets

The final matches in German football in the 2010 calendar year were played Wednesday evening in the DFB Pokal Cup tournament.  Excitement and upsets dominated Wednesday’s action, as Bayern Munich eliminated Bavarian rival VfB Stuttgart in another goal scoring fest, 6-3.  Meanwhile, three 2. Bundesliga clubs upset teams from the top-tier as Energie Cottbus downed VfL Wolfsburg 3-1, MSV Duisburg eliminated FC Koln 2-1 and in a game that went to extra time and then penalties, Alemania Aachen shut down Bundesliga leading scorer Theofanis Gekas and eliminated Eintracht Frankfurt from the competition.

After Sunday’s MatchDay 17 wild contest between Bayern Munich and Stuttgart, one didn’t know what to expect.  With Bayern Munich winning that one 5-3, I almost expected a defensive stalemate three days later in the DFB Pokal Cup.  But Bayern Munich erased those musings eight minutes into the match at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, as Andreas Ottl and Mario Gomez both scored to give Bayern Munich a very early 2-0 lead.

But Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak had an answer for Bruno Labaddia’s side, as he struck twice in the remainder of the first half to knot the score.  Miroslav Klose, on for Gomez, knocked in a goal at the 52 minute mark to give Bayern the lead again, but Stuttgart received a life line after Khalid Boulahrouz was redcarded in the 67th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick.  Christian Gentner, however, was unable to convert, but defender Matthieu Delpierre brought back 10-man Stuttgart when he equalized at the 77th minute.

But Bayern Munich’s quality and current form were too much for undermanned Stuttgart, as they poured in three goals in the last nine minutes of regulation from Thomas Muller, Klose again and Franck Ribery.  Louis van Gaal’s Bayern Munich side advance into the DFB Pokal Cup quarterfinals with the opportunity to defend their title.

In Wolfsburg, Energie Cottbus embarrassed their hosts and Coach Steve McClaren by scoring three times in the first half on the way to a 3-1 victory.  Goals by 22 year-old forward Nils Petersen in the first minute and end of the half were sandwiched around a goal by midfielder Jiayi Shao.  Wolfsburg were able to pull one goal back in the 56th minute courtesy of Bosnian international Edin Dzeko, but even with players with such outstanding attacking reputations as Dzeko, Grafite and Diego, McClaren’s players could do no more and were eliminated by their lower tier opponents.  One wonders how much longer McClaren will be allowed to lead a Wolfsburg club that seems to have no direction despite the talent on the squad.

At RheinEnergie Stadium, FC Koln also were eliminated from the Cup by a 2 Bundesliga side in front of their home fans as MSV Duisburg triumphed 2-1 over Prinz Poldi and friends.  Another early goal was surrendered by a top-tier team as Duisburg struck in the 3rd minute on a goal by forward Stefan Maierhoffer.  Duisburg added a second goal from Julian Koch in the 76th minute, which proved necessary as FC Koln finally got on the board in the 84th minute when young Simon Terodde netted, but Duisburg hung on to advance.  American goalkeeper David Yelldell got the win for Duisburg.

In Aachen at the New Tivoli Stadium, the ‘Potato Beetles’ gave their fans an evening to remember, defeating Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties.  Aachen and Frankfurt were scoreless after 90 minutes, with Aachen midfielder Marco Holger missing the best scoring chance when he was unable to convert a penalty kick.  Holger made amends, however, as he scored three minutes into extra time.  Eintrach Frankfurt sub Martin Fenin tied it up six minutes later, and the game went to penalty kicks.  Eintracht Frankfurt hung in despite playing a man down since the 14th minute of the match after defender Pirmin Schwegler was ejected, but perhaps fatigue finally got to them as Aachen nailed all their penalty kicks while Alexander Meier missed for Frankfurt and they were eliminated on penalties 5-3.

Things don’t get easier for Aachen in the next round, as they have drawn holders Bayern Munich.  Schalke will play the winners of the Kickers OFC- Nurnberg match, while Energie Cottbus will host 1899 Hoffenheim in the quarterfinal round.  Duisburg will play the winner of the TUS Koblenz-Kaiserslautern matchup.

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Gerry Wittmann

Gerry is the founder of the Bundesliga Fanatic. Besides loving German football, he also enjoys the NBA, collecting jerseys and LPs, his pets and wishes he had more time for fishing, bicycling and learning the bass guitar.

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