Germany’s prestigious DFB-Pokal action resumed tonight. Kaiserslautern and Düsseldorf advanced to the quarterfinals after overcoming the challenges of Nuremburg & Magdeburg respectively.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Separated by a mere three points in Germany’s second division, Kaiserslautern and Nuremburg had all the hallmarks of inseparable opponents inside the opening half. Die Roten Teufel made the stronger start at their Fritz-Walter Stadion home, but the visitors slowly adjusted to the tempo.
Neither side managed to carve out a threatening attempt on goal until the 53rd minute – Duman’s corner was met by Hayashi who looked sure to score but for the hasty reactions of Lautern’s goalkeeper Krahl. As the Betzenberg atmosphere increased, Kaiserslautern entered a rich spell which led to the breakthrough. Jean Zimmer crossed, and the knee of Richmond Tachie steered beyond Mathenia.
Lautern fans would be teleported into ecstasy in the 78th minute when Ragnar Ache struck for 2-0. Having just returned from injury, the striker played a neat one-two with Tachie to slot home inside the left post. Their ticket punched for a trip to the last eight.
Magdeburg 1 – Düsseldorf 2
Magdeburg set the bar for their Pokal encounter in the 15th minute when Baris Atik’s cross towards teammate Castaignos found the net. Castaignos missed the chance to double on the ball however the delivery caught out Düsseldorf shot-stopper Nieczycki who dived to his right corner in despair.
Magdeburg continued their dominance after the restart. Conde’s 72nd minute effort destined for the top right corner would be palmed away by Niemczycki. Magdeburg goalkeeper Riemann was not without work himself – Tanaka and Tzolis combined to force a fine 83rd minute save. Just as Düsseldorf looked down and out, substitute Niemiec restored parity. Johannesson fed the 22-year-old who thrashed home from a challenging angle with a venomous strike.
In unbelievable fashion, Düsseldorf flipped the game on its head inside the second minute of injury time. None other than Niemiec would fire them into a 2-1 lead. The striker capitalised on Leon Bell Bell’s scuffed clearance and drilled past Reimann to seal progression to the quarter-finals.