Thursday, 5 December 2013

DFB Pokal (German FA Cup): Top Trio moves to Quarter Finals

The Bundesliga top trio, FC Bayern Muenchen, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund prevailed in the round of 16 and moved into the quarter finals of the German FA Cup.  Dortmund played the game with a second string side, while Bayern Munich faced a fiesty Augsburg side in the Bavarian derby.  Leverkusen's task was probably the most difficult with SC Freiburg keeping the second placed Bundesliga club nervous.

Second Bundesliga club 1. FC Kaiserslautern eliminated Union Berlin with a convincing 3-0 win. while Hoffenheim prevailed over the struggling Schalke side with a 3-1 victory. VFL Wolfsburg demonstrated some difficulty but did come out ahead over 2nd Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt and Eintracht Frankfurt eliminated SV Sandhausen.

Arjen Robben scored for FC Bayern just four minutes into the match against FC Augsburg.  Robben left the match early, after a tackle by Augsburg's keeper, which appeared to injury the Dutchman's knee. According to Bayern authorities Robben had a knee tear, which had to be cleaned in an Augsburg hospital.  Despite hopes by Pep Guardialo that Robben would be back, it seems that Robben will be out for the next six  weeks. 

While Augsburg took it to Bayern, Bayern closed ranks in the rear and Augsburg seldom had chances.  Thomas Mueller, substituted for Robben, scored the second goal for Munich in the 78th, which was enough to move into the quarter final.

Bayer Leverkusen qualified for the quarter finals for the first time in five years.  Despite a stellar performance by Freiburg, the factory team won by a narrow 2-1 margin.  Robbie Kruse scored for Leverkusen just 28 seconds into the match, but Matthias Ginter got the equalizer in the 19th minute.  The final goal was scored by Leverkusen's Emre Can late in the second half in the 77th minute.  This was a lucky win for Leverkusen.

With goals in the 19th (Julian Schieber) and the 27th minute (Jonas Hofman) Borussia Dortmund easily defeated 1.FC Saarbruecken with a second string side.  Juergen Klopp, troubled with injuries, put many of his younger players into action, which was an opportunity made possible by taking on a third division club.  With first stringers on the bench, resting for the contest against Leverkusen this weekend, the second string side prevailed.  Klopp commented after the game that he was very happy with the sides performance and thought it was amazing what the boys did with very litte game experience.  This was Dortmund's third consecutive qualification for the quarter finals.

1. FC Kaiserslautern remains the only non-Bundesliga club in the competition.  Hamburg, Hoffenheim, Dortmund, Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, Frankfurt and Bayern move to the quarter finals, which will be played on February 11 and 12.  The draw for the matches will take place on Sunday December 8. 

3 December

1. FC Union Berlin vs 1. FC Kaiserslautern      0-3         
Hamburger SV vs 1. FC Köln                            2-1
Schalke 04 vs 1899 Hoffenheim                         1-3
1. FC Saarbrücken vs Borussia Dortmund        0-2

4 December
SC Freiburg vs Bayer Leverkusen                       1-2
VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Ingolstadt                         2-1
Eintracht Frankfurt vs SV Sandhausen             4-2
FC Augsburg vs Bayern München                      0-2

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