March 23, 2017

Mönchengladbach stroll into the last eight of DFB Pokal

Mönchengladbach stroll to a road win; advance to the last eight of the DFB Pokal.

Heading into the sides’ third round match up, both sides sent out remarkably strong sides. The Foals made just 2 changes from their 3-0 victory against Freiburg over the weekend, as Fabian Johnson and Josep Drmic got the start. Greuther Fürth made only one, as Adam Pinter replaced Andreas Hofmann from their impressive 4-1 victory over promotion candidates Hannover 96.

The second division side were looking repeat their run to the semifinals from the 2011-2012 version, where the side ousted Hoffenheim, rivals Nuremberg, and Paderborn, in route to the final four, but things went poorly almost from the opening whistle. Oskar Wendt got the opening goal after being slotted through by Fabian Johnsen. Things went from bad to worse as the 2 Bundesliga side saw Adam Pintér get a straight red card for a dangerous tackle just six minutes later. Thorgan Hazard, earned a penalty later in the first half and converted it to double his side’s lead heading into halftime. While Mönchengladbach controlled possession and tempo in the second half, Fürth had a good half chance, when a blocked shot fell to Sercan Sararer at the edge of the six yard box, but his shot went wide. The foals looked content to keep the ball and really never allowed Fürth to get a into the game.

So what does this result mean for the respective sides?

For Greuther Fürth, the cup distraction disappears and leaves them with to focus on a league season that hasn’t gone as planned. Despite beating second placed Hannover on the weekend, Fürth find themselves in 13th place, 11 points behind promotion. Their attack has sputtered throughout the season, scoring just 22 in their 19 matches. Serdar Dursun has tallied 7 goals, good for eighth most in the league, but he hasn’t gotten the support needed. It seems highly unlikely that the Kleeblätter will either catch the top of the table or see their form bottom out completely and be dragged into a relegation fight.

For Borussia Mönchengladbach they reach the last 8 for the third time in the last six years. However, with the Foals are also competing in Europa League in the next month, their next Pokal match will lead to some fixture congestion. From February 16 through March 4, Mönchengladbach will have six matches so Dieter Hecking will have to juggle his squad rotation through that time.

With their round of 32 matchup against Italian side Fiorentina having already been completed by then, those results would determine the club’s approach to the next round. Advancing over Fiorentina and a positive draw in the Europa League could see Hecking focus on that as a means to ensure European football next year.

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Andrew Smith

Born in Indiana, Andrew is a 27-year-old Social Studies teacher who has traveled to Germany on multiple occasions. He enjoys learning more of the tactical side of the game and can be followed on Twitter at andsmith_46.

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