David vs Goliath- The Biggest DFB Pokal First Round Giant Killings

The DFB Pokal gets underway this weekend a week before the Bundesliga restart. All 18 top flight sides enter the first round desperate to avoid the embarrassment of an exit to a lower league club.

The first round of the Cup however has a long history of banana skins for the Bundesliga elite and down the years a whole raft of big clubs have been felled by lesser lights.

Here we take a look down memory lane to see when David beat Goliath and made headlines in the DFB Pokal first round.

29/08/1981- Wuppertaler SV 1 Eintracht Braunschweig 0

The first major humiliation of a Bundesliga side in the very first round of the German Cup came in 1981 when third division Wuppertaler SV defeated Eintracht Braunschweig at the Stadion am Zoo thanks to a penalty right at the start of the second half from Jonny Hey.

Hey is father of Antoine Hey, who played for Schalke and Fortuna Köln before going on to manage Lesotho, Gambia, Liberia and Kenya at international level.

01/09/1984- SC Geislingen 2 Hamburger SV 0

Ten years previously Hamburg had suffered a huge shock after being eliminated in the second round by VfB Eppingen. However, there was another shock in store in 1984 when SC Geislingen of the Amateur-Oberliga Baden-Württemberg beat them in the Cup first round.

It’s not often that a team that wins the Bundesliga and European Cup one year, gets knocked out of the domestic Cup a year later by a bunch of amateurs. However goals from Wolfgang Haug and Klaus Perfetto saw HSV beaten 2-0.

The amateurs though fell at the next hurdle to eventual winners Bayer Uerdingen. They had though had their moment in the spotlight.

31/08/1986- BVL Remscheid 3 FC Kaiserslautern 0

The Red Devils were on the wrong end of a 3-0 reverse back in 1986 when BVL Remscheid sensationally knocked them out in the first round. All three goals came in the second 45 minutes with Michael Griehsbach opening the scoring in the 53rd minute with a well taken effort.

Hermann Wulfmeier made it 2-0 on the counter attack before an Andreas Köhler penalty 11 minutes from the end sealed the win.


04/08/1990- FV Weinheim 09 1 Bayern Munich 0

Just weeks after Germany had lifted the World Cup at Italia ’90, Bayern’s star players were brought crashing down to earth with a bump as amateurs FV Weinheim 09 beat a team containing the likes of Klaus Augenthaler, Jürgen Köhler, Stefan Reuter, Hans Pflügler as well as a young Stefan Effenberg.

A first-half penalty from Thomas Schwechheimer for which Thomas Strunz saw a red card was the decider and saw the giants from Bavaria sent home in humiliation.

Bayern trainer Jupp Heynckes has gone down as a club legend having won everything there is to win and experiencing numerous highs with the club- this however must have been his lowest moment.

14/08/1994- TSV Vestenbergsgreuth 1 Bayern Munich 0

Four years after the disaster against Weinheim, Bundesliga champions Bayern were once again the victims of a slaying of epic headline-making proportions when they were dumped out in the first round by TSV Vestenbergsgreuth.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s FC Hollywood lost out to a goal at the end of the first-half from farmer Roland Stein. The Bayern XI was a first-team with four young up-and-coming youth players (Dietmar Hamann, Michael Sternkopf, Markus Babbel and Christian Nerlinger) mixed in.

What ensued was a shock of seismic proportions. I for one would love to have been a fly on the wall in the Bayern dressing room after the watch to witness the ballistic reaction of the fiery Italian coach.

22/08/2004- Bayern Munich II 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 (aet) (7-6 pen)

Had die Fohlen lost to Bayern Munich, it wouldn’t have been a story, but being eliminated in the first round by Bayern Munich II (the reserve side) did make headlines back in 2004.

Granted, the ‘Small Bayern’ were strengthened with the inclusion of Andreas Görlitz and Bastian Schweinsteiger as well as Michael Rensing in goal, but Gladbach should still have had enough to proceed.
A 1-1 draw was only rescued by Borussia with Joris van Hout’s late equaliser, but the Bayern second string triumphed 7-6 in the penalty shoot-out with Rensing saving the vital spot-kick from Enrico Gaede.

09/09/2006- FK Pirmasens 1 Werder Bremen 1 (aet) (5-3pen)

Bremen travelled to Pirmasens in 2006 having already won the Cup on five occasions, so many people had to double check the scoreline when it came through from the Sportpark Husterhöhe.

Electrician Sebastian Reich gave the hosts a shock lead on 64 minutes when Werder failed to deal with a free kick into the area, only for substitute Ivan Klasnic to rescue the Grün-Weißen with and 83rd minute equaliser.

Pirmasens second-choice keeper Reiner Schwartz saved from both Klasnic and Hugo Almeida in the shoot-out to secure a historic win for his side.

10/09/2006- SC Pfullendorf 2 Arminia Bielefeld 1

A day after the Werder Bremen shock at Pirmasens came another Bundesliga scalp at the hands of a lower league side. Arminia Bielefeld under Thomas von Heesen were upset by Regionalliga Süd outfit SC Pfullendorf at the ALNO-Arena

Second-half strikes from Ivica Lucic and Patrick Hagg set up the win with a late Marcel Ndjeng goal just a mere consolation for Bielefeld.

18/08/2012- Berliner AK 07 4 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 0

The dubious honour of being the Bundesliga side to have suffered the heaviest defeat to a minnow in the first round goes to Hoffenheim following their 4-0 mauling at the hands of Berliner AK 07 in 2012.

Some giant killings come down to a single goal proving the difference, but here the Bundesliga side were blown away by their Regionalliga opponents and in fairness it could have been a lot worse.

A blitz start from the club from the capital with Metin Cakmak scoring after just three minutes was followed by a superb display with further first-half goals from Justin Gerlach and Kevin Kruschke. The icing on the cake was added in the 49th minute with Cakmak adding his second and Berliner Ak’s fourth.
Not exactly Hoffenheim’s finest moment, or indeed poor goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who was making his debut for the club.


Will there be a similar shock in this year’s DFB Pokal first round? These are the fixtures worth keeping an eye on for the chance to see David once again slay a Goliath from the Bundesliga:

TuS Erndtebrück v SV Darmstadt 98
SV Elversberg v FC Augsburg
SV Meppen v 1FC Köln
Sportfreunde Lotte v Bayer Leverkusen
Bremer SV v Eintracht Frankfurt
FC Nöttingen v Bayern Munich
Hessen Kassel v Hannover 96

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.