Braunschweig - Hertha BSC

Germany: DFB Pokal
Braunschweig M. Kobylański (2), M. Mittelstädt (17), X M. Kobylański (Pen. 44), M. Kobylański (44), M. Kobylański (67), S. Abdullahi (73)
Hertha BSC D. Lukebakio (22), M. Cunha (29), P. Pekarík (65), D. Lukebakio (83)

Eintracht Braunschweig claim first DFB-Pokal scalp with 5-4 defeat of Labbadia's Hertha

By Peter Vice

That didn't take long! A recently promoted team from the 2. Bundesliga provided a sensational upset of a Bundesliga side on the DFB-Pokal's opening evening.

Bruno Labbadia.
Bruno Labbadia.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag

Second-tier side Eintracht Braunschweig ensured that the first major upset of 2020/21 German domestic-league cup took place on its very first day. Riding a spectacular hat trick from midfielder Martin Kobylanski, the recently promoted Lions of Lower Saxony ousted Bruno Labbidia’s Hertha BSC in a nine-goal thriller at their home stadium.

The 26-year-old Kobylanski was unquestionably the man of the evening. The Polish international, who has played most of his career in the third division, made certain that his first ever DFB-Pokal appearance turned out to be a night he “wouldn’t soon forget”.

At first hesitant to comment on his performance, an elated Kobylanski did let slip that a duel against Hertha was something of a special affair for him, “because I played for the Eisernen”. The evening’s star played nineteen fixtures for Hertha’s cross-town rivals 1. FC Union Berlin whilst on loan in the 2014/15 season. “I’m pleased to have shot the goals against Hertha,” he added.

Another former FC Union player, Nigerian Suleiman Abdullahi, scored what would prove to be the winning goal in the wild 5-4 affair. Braunschweig’s other tally came courtesy of an Maximillian Mittelstädt own-goal after a 17th minute corner. Matheus Cunha and Peter Pekarik found the back of the net for “die alte Dame” whilst Dodi Lukebakio also grabbed a brace. Unfortunately, four goals would prove insufficient.

The match constituted something of a nightmare debut for new Hertha keeper Alexander Schwolow. The €8 million transfer from Freiburg labelled the evening “a catastrophe”. Everything that could possibly gone wrong went wrong for the new addition. Schwolow even stretched to save a Kobylanski penalty, only to have has parry bounce back to the encroaching striker, who scored on his second effort.

By all accounts, Hertha remained the dominant team throughout the match. Labbadia’s men maintained 65 percent possession, fired in an impressive 25 shots on goal, and ensured that Braunschweig were pinned back in their own half for long stretches. Despite this, the own-goal, the flagrant foul leading to the penalty, and some genuine slapstick defensive errors saw the favorites eliminated.

“I have seldom experienced such a game,” Labbadia remarked at the post-match press conference, “It’s hard to explain. We made so many individual mistakes that we couldn’t compensate.”

16Jasmin Fejzić
32Michael Schultz ↩86
6Dominik Wydra
40Robin Ziegele
23Danilo Wiebe
4Jannis Nikolaou
28Yassin Ben Balla
27Niko Kijewski
7Fabio Kaufmann ↩88
20Suleiman Abdullahi ↩80
10Martin Kobylański (C) X
12Felix Dornebusch
15Marcel Bär ↪80
17Yari Otto
22Manuel Schwenk
33Nick Proschwitz
3Lasse Schlüter
5Benjamin Kessel
19Felix Burmeister ↪86
8Iba May ↪88
Hertha BSC
1Alexander Schwolow
2Peter Pekarík
5Niklas Stark (C)
4Karim Rekik
21Marvin Plattenhardt ↩78
6Vladimír Darida ↩78
29Lucas Tousart
28Dodi Lukebakio
11Mathew Leckie ↩76
17Maximilian Mittelstädt
9Matheus Cunha
22Rune Jarstein
27Jessic Ngankam
33Daishawn Redan
13Lukas Klünter
42Deyovaisio Zeefuik
10Ondrej Duda ↪78
16Javairô Dilrosun ↪76
23Arne Maier ↪78
31Márton Dárdai

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