Cologne shock Berlin, Bayern beat Leipzig in German Cup

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Berlin, Oct 26 (IANS) Cologne returned to winning ways after eliminating Hertha Berlin 3-1 on the road, while Bayern overcame Leipzig 5-4 on penalties in the second round of the German Cup football competition.

Cologne advanced into the last 16 as goals from Simon Zoller, Dominic Maroh and Christian Clemens were enough to knock out Hertha in front of 33,459 spectators at Berlin’s Olympia stadium on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Both sides needed some time to gain a foothold in the game, with goal-scoring opportunities remaining a rare occurrence in the first 15 minutes.

As the match progressed, Hertha gained the upper hand and tested goalkeeper Timo Horn as Marvin Plattenhardt curled a free kick dangerously on target at 20 minutes played.

Cologne’s goalkeeper Timo Horn remained busy, as he had to be on guard to deny promising efforts from Salomon Kalou and Peter Pekarik within the half-hour mark.

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Although Hertha Berlin were on the front foot it was the visitors from Cologne who scored the opener against the run of the game in the 35th minute as Simon Zoller volleyed home a flicked-on ball from close range.

Peter Stoeger’s men gained momentum and doubled the lead before the break after Dominic Maroh slotted home a corner to shock the hosts in the 43rd minute.

After the restart, Cologne kept all their men behind the ball to hand over control to the Hertha. Despite more possession Hertha lacked in penetration and ideas to overcome Cologne’s bulwark.

Cologne remained dangerous on the counters and added another goal to their lead when Zoller chipped into the path of Christian Clemens, who poked home the 3-0 advantage into the open goal in the 64th minute.

Berlin pulled one back five minutes later, as Niklas Stark nodded a rebound to make it 3-1 on the scoreboards. The goal sparked hopes, but Berlin were unable to avoid their elimination from the Cup.

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Record-holding champions Bayern Munich follow Cologne into the next round after beating ten-men Leipzig 5-4 on penalties.

Both sides staged a fast-paced and offensively minded encounter with chances at both ends of the pitch. Nevertheless, the spectators had to wait after the restart before action on the pitch would kick-off.

Leipzig’s Naby Keita ensured the first negative highlight of the clash as the Guinea international received his marching orders for booking his second yellow card of the game in the 54th minute.

Despite Leipzig’s numerical disadvantage, they were able to break the deadlock 14 minutes later when Emil Forsberg converted a controversial foul-play penalty into the bottom left corner of the net.

The German giants responded with the equaliser in the 73rd minute as Thiago Alcantara found Jerome Boateng’s cross.

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Both sides failed to grab the winner, thus the penalty shootout was needed to bring the decision. All of the players kept their nerves except Leipzig’ s Timo Werner, whose crucial shot from the spot was saved by custodian Sven Ulreich.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg progressed into the next round after edging Hannover 1-0 on the sole goal of Felix Uduokhai in the Lower Saxony derby.

Stuttgart bounced back from one goal to edge second division side Kaiserslautern 3-1.

Ishak Belfodil’s only goal of the match helped Werder Bremen to overpower Hoffenheim 1-0.

Three second-half goals from Freiburg cancelled out Dynamo Dresden’ s opener to reap a 3-1 victory.

Heidenheim crushed Jahn Regensburg 5-2 and Nuremberg saw off resilient Osnabruck to progress into the last 16.

–IANS

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