March 23, 2017

DFB Releases Schedule for German Cup’s Round of 16

Germanyś football federation, the DFB, announced Thursday the dates and times for the third round of the German Cup competition.

The eight matches will be spread out across four time slots on the Tuesday and Wednesday following Bundesliga match day 19. Nine top-flight clubs remain in the Pokal. That number is guaranteed to be reduced by at least a full third, with three matches pitting Bundesliga sides against one another.

Defending cup-holder FC Bayern will host their second-round victim from last yearś tournament when VfL Wolfsburg visits on Tuesday, February 7. The match is set for a 20:45 CET (2:45 p.m. EST) start. The Wolves are off to a slow start in the Bundesliga. Their two victories to reach the Round of 16 in the Pokal is equal to their win total after ten match days in the league.

Hamburger SV can only dream of having matching numbers in the “win” column of the Bundesliga table and their Cup record. The Bundesliga Dinosaurs are off to a historically poor start, having yet to taste victory in the 2016-17 season and sitting at the bottom of the table. Their only two competitive victories from the current Fußball calendar came in cup play, but also both under the guidance of recently fired Bruno Labbadia. New man Markus Gisdol will hope to have eclipsed the two-win mark by the time they host 1. FC Köln in third round play in Tuesday’s early time slot of 18:30 CET (12:30 p.m. EST) for the HSV to have any chance at avoiding the club’s first-ever relegation from the Bundesliga.

Only two clubs from below Germany’s top two divisions have survived into the third round of competition. FC Astoria Walldorf of fourth-division Regionalliga Südwest hosts Arminia Bielefeld of 2. Bundesliga in Tuesday’s second 18:30 CET match. The name “Astoria Walldorf” should sound very familiar to American ears as the club shares a namesake with famous New York luxury hotel “Waldorf Astoria.” German-American business magnate John Jacob Astor was born in Walldorf.

Sportfreunde Lotte became the first Cinderella story of the tournament by taking out Bundesliga sides in consecutive rounds. After getting past SV Werder Bremen in the first round with a 2:1 victory, the “Sports Friends” beat Bayer Leverkusen in penalties. For the third round, a second-division club comes calling to Frimo Stadium in the form of 1860 Munich. Lotte’s fairy tale picks up on Wednesday, February 8 at 18:30 CET.

On paper, the round’s best fixture pits last year’s runners-up, Borussia Dortmund, against Hertha BSC. The two clubs are not only neighbors in the current Bundesliga table, but they faced one another in last year’s semifinal, with the BVB advancing decisively through an 0:3 victory. The rematch set for the final time slot of the round (Wednesday, February 8 at 20:45 CET) at Signal Iduna Park, providing the Berliner’s with a big national-TV audience for their shot at Pokal redemption.

The entire schedule for the DFB Cup Round of 16:

Tuesday, February 7 – 18:30 CET (12:30 p.m. EST)

Hamburger SV : 1. FC Köln
FC Astoria Walldorf : Arminia Bielefeld

Tuesday, February 7 – 20:45 CET (2:45 p.m. EST)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth : Borussia Mönchengladbach
FC Bayern München : VfL Wolfsburg

Wednesday, February 8 – 18:30 CET (12:30 p.m. EST)

Sportfreunde Lotte : 1860 München
SV Sandhausen : FC Schalke 04

Wednesday, February 8 – 20:45 CET (2:45 p.m. EST)

Hannover 96 : Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Dortmund : Hertha BSC

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Randall Hauk is a freelance writer living in the United States while covering German football. He is currently the publisher of Planet Effzeh, an English-language site covering 1. FC Köln. He wrote about the German national team for the Telegraph as part of their World Cup Nation coverage.

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