By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Werder Bremen survive late Energie Cottbus scare as FC Ingolstadt are no match for Darmstadt

Füllkrug and Weiser instrumental in Bremen's narrow 1-2 victory, while Marvin Mehlem impressed in a dominant 0-3 rout of Ingolstadt in Bavaria.
Another Monday afternoon David vs Goliath matchup came in the form of newly promoted Werder Bremen, who return to the topflight this season, taking on Regionalliga Nordost outfit Energie Cottbus.

Former Borussia Dortmund academy striker Marvin Ducksch came close inside 10 minutes when he struck the foot of the upright after the recently permanently signed Michel Weiser picked him out unmarked in the box. However, Bremen’s first-half dominance told two minutes before the half time whistle. Niclas Füllkrug dropping deep to thread a wonderful through ball into the feet of Romano Schmid - the Austrian bending an inch perfect right-footed strike beyond Sebald for 0-1.

Five minutes into the second half and the Ducksch hit the frame of the Cottbus goal once more – Füllkrug unselfishly squared the ball for his German compatriot who was unfortunate not to see the net ripple second time around. While a clinical finish may not have been present in Ducksch’s game this afternoon, he did turn provider on 73 minutes for Weiser. The German striker’s shot deflected into the path of Werder’s No.8 who routinely fired home.

Cottbus grabbed a lifeline with 10 minutes to play when substitute Heike got on the end of a loose ball to drill his first-time effort drilled beyond Pavlenka for 1-2. A lot of credit should go to Janis Juckel who fought hard to dispossess Friedl and set up the goal. Cottbus pinned Bremen in their own half for the final proceedings, but couldn’t find a leveller to force extra-time as Die Werderaner advance.

Ingolstadt 0 - Darmstadt 3

German 3.Liga side FC Ingolstadt welcomed the blue and white clad Bundesliga 2 side of Darmstadt to Bavaria for the first round of the DfB Pokal. The visitors made the perfect start on 15 minutes – the talented Marvin Mehlem found space in the box to pick out teammate Philip Tietz who fired home for 0-1.

Die Schanzer soon found themselves two goals in arrears before the referee’s whistle could sound for the interval. Brackelmann, caught pulling the jersey of Mehlem inside the box, gave official Robert Hartmann no option but to point to the spot. Kempe converted to double his side’s lead burying the ball up the middle as goalkeeper Ponath dived to his right.

While Ingolstadt huffed, puffed, and came so unlucky as to hit the post on occasions, Darmstadt continued their momentum into the second half and eventually put the cup tie to bed at 0-3 on the 84th minute. The new Danish loanee, Magnus Warming, arriving from Torino in Italy’s Serie A, put the final nail in Ingolstadt’s Pokal coffin after receiving the ball from substitute Karic.

Die Lilien progress to the second round of the Pokal in comfortable fashion at the expense of Bavarian side Ingolstadt.

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