The quarter-final round of this year’s DFB-Pokal produced one of the greatest upsets in the cup’s history as fourth-division Saarbrucken stunned Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf on penalties.
Saarbrucken goalkeeper Daniel Batz was the hero as he saved five penalties — one in the second half and four in the shootout, which they won, 7-6.
Saarbrucken, who became the first fourth-division side ever to reach the semi-finals of the cup, could now face Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, or Eintracht Frankfurt after they also won their respective quarter-final ties.
Saarbrucken keeper stars in shootout win over Fortuna Dusseldorf
Fourth-tier Saarbrucken defeated Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf on penalties.
Die Molschder looked on course for victory in full-time after taking the lead through Tobias Janicke. After a brilliant run from substitute Kianz Froese, Janicke collected a pass, kept his cool, and finished past Dusseldorf keeper Florian Kastenmeier.
And on 83 minutes, Saarbrucken keeper Daniel Batz preserved that lead as he made a brilliant save on Rouwen Hennings’ penalty.
However, Mathias “Zanka” Jorgensen — with help from keeper Kastenmeier’s header — equalised for Dusseldorf in stoppage time to force extra-time, and eventually, the match went to penalties.
Saarbrucken also needed penalties to get past Karlsruher in the previous round. Batz made the only save of the shootout to see his team through.
Batz produced even more DFB-Pokal 2020 highlights during the Dusseldorf shootout as he made three saves in four kicks to keep Saarbrucken alive. And after a nerve-wracking 10 rounds, Batz saved Zanka’s penalty to send the entire stadium in a state of euphoria as they made history by becoming the first fourth-tier side to reach the semi-finals.
Bayern Munich barely sneak past Schalke
Defending DFB Pokal champions Bayern Munich have made it through to the semi-finals. Although, it was much tougher than anticipated as they could defeat Schalke 1-0 at the Veltins-Arena.
Joshua Kimmich scored the winning goal for Bayern, who had defeated Hoffenheim 6-0 last weekend despite missing the injured Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern manager Hansi Flick decided to start a line-up without a recognised striker. Thomas Muller led the line with Serge Gnabry, Philippe Coutinho, and Leon Goretzka in support. Dutch teenager Joshua Kirzkee, who has scored in three of his four Bundesliga appearances this season, was left on the bench.
Bayern dominated both matches against Schalke this season as they won by an aggregate of 8-0. They once again dominated play with 81 per cent of possession and fired off 20 shots. However, they only had three of those shots on target.
Nevertheless, they got the job done and remain on course for their 20th DFB-Pokal title.
Bayer Leverkusen come back to beat 10-man Union Berlin
Bayer Leverkusen are through to their second DFB-Pokal semi-final in the last three seasons after a 3-1 win over Union Berlin.
There were some scary scenes after just 17 minutes as a fan was taken off on a stretcher. Luckily, medics later confirmed the supporter was alright and headed toward a local hospital.
Union took a surprise lead in the first half through Marcus Ingvartsen, who rose high and delivered a great header to beat Lukas Hradecky. However, Christopher Lenz picked up a second yellow card and was sent off with 20 minutes left.
Leverkusen wasted no time in capitalising on their man advantage as substitute Karim Bellarabi equalised just a minute later.
And with just four minutes from time, Charles Aranguiz completed the comeback as he gave Leverkusen the lead. The Chilean got on the end of a corner and expertly placed his header past Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz.
Leverkusen put the finishing touches on the victory in stoppage time as they caught Union out on the break. Bellarabi selflessly teed up Moussa Diaby, who kept his cool to score the hosts’ third.
Eintracht Frankfurt reach third cup semi-final in four years
Eintracht Frankfurt really enjoy playing in the DFB-Pokal. The Eagles, who made back-to-back finals in two of the last three years and won it all in 2018, are back in the semi-finals after defeating Werder Bremen, 2-0.
Andre Silva and Daicihi Kamada supplied the goals to defeat Bremen, who are currently battling relegation in the Bundesliga.
Frankfurt went down to 10 men after midfielder Filip Kostic picked up a straight red card in stoppage time. However, there wasn’t enough time for Bremen to capitalise on the man advantage.
Frankfurt could be underdogs against either Bayern Munich or Bayer Leverkusen if they meet in the semis. However, Frankfurt sent RB Leipzig crashing out in the previous round, and with their recent track record in the tournament, they won’t fear any club.
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