Three shocks, an incredible goal from 61 metres out, overjoyed amateurs and a lucky win for cup-holders Bayern Munich, who were inspired by the brilliant Bastian Schweinsteiger: the “DFB Pokal” – the German Cup – lived up, in the second round, to its reputation as a highly attractive competition with built-in surprises and upsets. And looks like more of the same just before Christmas as the round of the last 16 will be played on 20/21 December. The top game will see two clubs from the south do battle, as Bayern have to travel to VfB Stuttgart. The draw, which was made by Alexandra Popp, the women’s U20 World Champion, and her assistant Michael Ballack, produced a further all-Bundesliga encounter as TSG Hoffenheim 1899 were given a home tie against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Otherwise Germany’s best young striker pulled six matches out of the glass bowl that seem likely to again provide a surprise or two.
Third division TuS Koblenz will be hoping to pull off another shock against regional rivals 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Last year the two turned out against each other in the second division but now they are two leagues apart. It however doesn’t guarantee “FCK” an easy win in the Oberwerth Stadium. In the second round Koblenz knocked out the second division leaders, Hertha BSC Berlin. The underdogs won 1-0 after scoring the year’s most incredible goal. Michael Stahl struck in the 60th minute from fully 61 metres. The midfielder was actually looking to clear a situation in his own half, but running up, he hammered the ball which soared through the air and into the Hertha net.
Unlucky Bremer unable to exact revenge
Afterwards Stahl was at the centre of attention. Reporters from all around the world wanted to interview him about the sensational goal. The video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a0E5BuvZ28) registered more than 1.1 million clicks in the week after. A song has been written about Stahl and a supermarket wants to make a 61.5 metre sausage. TuS Koblenz had T-shirts printed that were sold to the fans for 15 euro. “I’m just disappointed that Bremen lost tonight against Bayern,” said Stahl who was instrumental in bringing about Hertha’s first defeat of the season. He is a Werder fan and was disappointed that Bremen failed to exact revenge in Munich for their 2-1 cup final defeat against Bayern in May 2010. He wasn’t alone, Bremen were disappointed too. Everybody told them that they had been the better team but a Sebastian Prödl headed goal was wrongly disallowed. However, the record cup winners won and Bayern celebrated Schweinsteiger, who scored both goals. “He was the boss on the pitch,” said coach Louis van Gaal, who was forced to replace injured stars like Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Miroslav Klose.
The biggest shock of all was provided by another third division team. Kickers Offenbach beat Borussia Dortmund, who are currently lying second in the Bundesliga, 4-2 in a penalty shoot out after a goalless 120 minutes. Goalkeeper Robert Wulnikowski was the hero after saving penalties taken by Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski. But then the two’s fortunes changed over the weekend. Dortmund regained top spot in the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win in Mainz. Starting the day as the third division leaders, Offenbach dropped to second after losing 4-3 in Burghausen. They will face another Bundesliga club in the third round. Their next opponents, 1. FC Nuremberg, were comfortable 3-0 winners in SV Elversberg.
Aachen and Cottbus stop first division Mainz and Freiburg
Dortmund weren’t the only ones to be dumped out of the cup. 1. FSV Mainz also stumbled. The Bundesliga leaders deservedly lost 2-1 at second division Alemannia Aachen. It was their first away defeat of the season as they had previously won all four of their league games on the road – in Bayern, in Wolfsburg, in Bremen and in Leverkusen. Aachen were joined in the next round by second division Energie Cottbus, who also caused an upset by beating the Bundesliga club SC Freiburg 2-1.
Aachen will be at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, who won a top class all first division match against Hamburg SV 5-2. In another game between two Bundesliga clubs, Mönchengladbach beat Bayer Leverkusen 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out after the scores had been level 1-1 after extra time. Later Gladbach were handed a tough last 16 draw. They not only lost 3-2 in Hoffenheim in their eighth game of the season but they also had Sebastian Schachten and Juan Arango sent off. Schalke 04’s task is no easier. After beating FSV Frankfurt 2-1, they again have to face a second division team. FC Augsburg (4-2 after extra time in SpVgg Greuther Fürth) are looking to repeat their cup run from last season when they were only stopped in the semifinal by Bremen.
In contrast to Schalke, two other Bundesliga teams have each been given home ties against second division opposition. 1. FC Cologne (3-0 against 1860 Munich) will play local rivals MSV Duisburg (3-0 against Hallescher FC), VfL Wolfsburg (3-1 against Victoria Hamburg) will face Cottbus for a place in the quarterfinals which will be played on 25/26 January 2011.