Favorites prevail in Tuesday’s DFB Pokal’s Action

All the expected favorites moved on in the first half of the 2. Round in Germany’s domestic cup competition.  Two of the competition’s big favorites, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, breezed through to the third round while 2. Bundesliga high flyers Eintracht Braunschweig crashed out against Freiburg.  Underdogs Berliner AK, Wormatia Worms, Preussen Münster and TSV Havelse had their fairytale ended against higher league opposition and Mainz continued their good home form by overcoming Erzgebirge Aue.

Dortmund and Schalke rest players without a problem and Freiburg put an end to Braunschweig’s great run

Schalke coach Huub Stevens made eight changes to the side that beat Nürnberg over the weekend and his side did not skip a beat as they hosted 2. Bundesliga’s Sandhausen.  Afellay opened the scoring before Marica’s acrobatic bicycle kick put the game beyond the visitors.  Substitute Huntelaar added the third to top off a comfortable victory.  Schalke are now undefeated in their last eight competitive matches, adding to an already impressive start to the season.

Ruhr rivals and defending champions Dortmund meanwhile cruised in their own match against second division VfR Aalen.  Hummels got on the scoresheet early with a quality finish after great work from Götze and Grosskreutz.  Aalen never got into the game and the visitors added another one shortly through the in form Schmelzer.  Dortmund’s lead became insurmountable shortly after the break when Götze’s quality chip over Aalen goalkeeper Fejzic made it 3-0.  Substitute Schieber added the fourth and Aalen’s consolation goal from Klauss three minutes from time was only a formality .

Perhaps the most interesting match of this round was Braunschweig’s meeting with Freiburg.  The 2. Bundesliga leaders went into the game on a 12 match unbeaten run but a spirited Freiburg performance put that to an end.  The key was Freiburg’s great start.  Caligiuri got on the score sheet in just 53 seconds.  The hosts never settled and were wasteful with their finishing.  Always chasing the game, Freiburg was in the driver’s seat and put the result beyond doubt in the final minutes thanks to a goal from Johannes Flum.

Speaking of good form, Mainz made it 4 wins out of 4 for Bundesliga sides against 2. Bundesliga opposition with their win against Aue.  Like Freiburg, Mainz’s furious start put Aue under immediate pressure until they collapsed and conceded a goal from Ivanschitz.  The in form Szalai set up Mali for the second shortly after the break and Thomas Tuchel’s men never looked back.  Aue lacked the necessary creativity and spent all 90 minutes chasing Mainz’s ever active players.

Köln leave it late and other underdogs bow out

It took Köln 120 minutes and a penalty shootout to get past 4th division Wormatia Worms.  Neither side managed to break through in regular and extra time and had to leave their fate up to the lottery that is penalties. Köln goalkeeper Timo Horn held Wittke’s penalty and Abele hit the post before captain Bröker scored the decisive penalty as Holger Stanislawski’s men barely squeezed through to the next round. Worms can be proud of a short lived yet exciting run.  They were always in the game and at times it looked as though they would make it a second upset after dumping out Hertha Berlin in the first round. Köln will have to do much better though if they want to avoid another short lived Cup run.

Elsewhere 1860 easily disposed of the other surprise package, Berliner AK, with a comfortable 3-0 win. Moritz Stoppelkamp put in the performance of the day with two goals and an assist to see the club through to the next round. Coach Reiner Maurer’s offensive changes paid off and after a more even sided first half 1860 ran away with the game after the break.  In Münster, Augsburg squeezed by their third division opponents thanks to a Callsen-Bracker goal but were lucky to not go behind when Taylor missed a big chance in the first half.

Finally, VfL Bochum dodged early scares to overcome the lowest ranked team left in the Cup, 5th division side TSV Havelse 3-1.  This year’s surprise package, who eliminated Nürnberg against all odds in the first round, again shocked everyone by scoring first. Bochum rallied back though and ran out 3-1 winners in a hotly contested match.

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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