Tuesday’s eight DFB Pokal second round matches brought a few surprises, but the big story resulting from the Pokal action is that three Munich area clubs will be among the teams making up the Pokal’s third round of 16, as Bayern Munich, 1860 Munich and SpVgg Unterhaching were among the eight clubs advancing Tuesday. Also advancing were first-division sides SV Darmstadt 98 and Hertha Berlin, Bundesliga 2 clubs VfL Bochum and 1.FC Nürnberg and Erzgebirge Aue, currently playing in 3. Liga after being demoted at the end of last season.
Great Day in Munich
The least surprising result earned by Munich-area clubs was Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg. Although Wolfsburg were the only team to even faintly challenge Bayern’s run to yet another league title, the Volkswagen club did win the Pokal last season and two of their last three meetings with the Bavarian giants.
But Wolfsburg were no match for Bayern on Tuesday, even playing at home, as Pep Guardiola’s side took a lead 15 minutes from exciting summer addition Douglas Costa. Thomas Müller, who can do no wrong this season, added a brace barely past the midway point of the first half to give the Bavarians a 3-0 halftime lead in a game in which Bayern once again dominated possession (69%), outshot the home side 16-10 and had a 5-0 edge in corner kicks. Excepting a possible knock to young Kingsley Coman, all went completely right for Pep and company, with the Spanish coach giving Arjen Robben a second half run-out as the amazing Dutch attacker looks to build his fitness following his comeback from injury last weekend.
More surprising was 1860 Munich’s 2-1 away win over 1.FSV Mainz 05. While Mainz have lost the plot recently after a fine start to the 2015/2016 season, 1860 hadn’t even won a league match in 12 tries this season. Things didn’t start well Tuesday for 1860 either, as they gifted the home side with a Christopher Schindler own goal six minutes in.
But 1860 Munich hung in against their first division foes, and found a lifeline when Mainz defender Pierre Bengtsson was shown a red card late in the first half. Against ten men, 1860’s Stefan Mugosa found the back of the net to equalize in the 70th minute seven minutes later Rubin Okotie headed in what turned out to be the game-winner. Mainz threw everything at 1860 as the game wound down, but two goal-line clearances late prevented a Mainz equalizer, and gave Die Lowen of 1860 their first victory of the season since beating Hoffenheim back in August in the Pokal’s first round. A very, very good day for the blue side of Munich.
SpVgg Unterhaching, presently playing in the 4th division Regionalliga Bayern, drew the ever-ambitious, Red Bull cash-fueled Leipzig side of Bundesliga 2 for their second round fixture. Despite RB Leipzig’s superior roster, Unterhaching, hailing from the suburbs north of Munich, were able to shut out Leipzig for a 3-0 win. The suburban side scored early as Markus Einsiedler scored from his left foot five minutes after kickoff, and had a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes when Marco Rosenzweig scored from a set piece. Despite RB Leipzig having double the shots and twice the possession of SpVgg, it was the hosts who scored the final goal, with Thomas Steinherr, who’d assisted on the first goal, finding his own tally in the 67th minute. Twenty-four year old goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic made five saves for Unterhaching on a day that showed that Bayern aren’t the only Munich club capable of big victories.
Frankfurt Not So Great
As fine a day it was for football in Munich, a much more dismal day was had by two clubs from Frankfurt, Germany’s fifth-largest city. Eintracht Frankfurt, who broke a losing streak Saturday in Bundesliga play, were upset by 3.Liga side Erzgebirge Aue, a club from a city of 18,000 in the former East Germany. Played at the 15,000 seat Erzgebirgstadion, the home team got the only goal it needed in the 74th minute from Max Wegner, a 26 year-old forward who has previously played for the reserve sides of Werder Bremen and Hannover as well as SV Wilhelmshaven before joining Aue this year. Eintracht had 62% of possession, but it proved little good as did the seven shots combined taken by Fußballgott Alex Meier and Haris Seferovic. Meanwhile, FSV Frankfurt, the city’s 2nd division club, dropped their match to a good Hertha Berlin that continues to achieve. A brace by former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou, including a PK, overcame a goal from FSV’s Timm Golley to grant victory to Pal Dardai’s capital club.
In the other three Tuesday matches, 1.FC Nürnberg blasted Fortuna Düsseldorf 5-1, as five different players for Der Club scored against former Schalke goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall. Nürnberg are currently 10th in 2 Bundesliga with a 4-4-4 record, while F95 are having a rougher time, currently 16th in the 18 team second division, and are now without any hope of Pokal glory. In Darmstadt, the Lillies and the 96ers of Hannover played more than 70 minutes of scoreless ball before three goals were scored in quick succession. Darmstadt’s Aytac Sulu scored from close-range in the 74th minute before Hannover’s Polish forward, Artur Sobeich, levelled in the 75th minute. Four minutes later, former Hertha striker Sandro Wagner, who joined Darmstadt at the end of the summer transfer window, found the game-winner to advance Dirk Schuster’s overachievers into the Pokal’s 3rd Round. Finally, VfL Bochum bounced back from a weekend loss to FSV Frankfurt to defeat 1. FC Kaiserslautern in a battle of two ‘traditional’ German clubs, as Bochum benefitted from a Chris Lowe own goal to eliminate the Red Devils and move on. Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Riemann had to make only two saves in registering the shutout.
Wednesday’s eight games include exciting Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen sides looking for another goalfest lower division opposition, along with two matchups between 1st division clubs as Werder Bremen face 1. FC Köln while Schalke host Borussia Mönchengladbach, who beat the Royal Blues on Sunday. There’s also a Baden-Württemberg derby on tap, and opportunities for VfB Stuttgart and Eintracht Braunschweig to advance as well as a matchup between two clubs heading in opposite directions, as a strong 2nd division SC Freiburg face a fading FC Augsburg of the first division. Certainly this is one of the most interesting 2nd Round of Pokal action in recent memory.