Leverkusen progress, Bremen crash out in German Cup

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Berlin, Aug 22 (IANS) Javier Hernandez’ assist and goal earned Leverkusen a 2-1 win over fifth-division side SC Hauenstein while third-division club Sportfreunde Lotte knocked out Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen 2-1 in the first round of the German Cup football tournament on Sunday.

Bayer Leverkusen saw off resilient Hauenstein 2-1 away, thanks to the goals from Hernandez and Karim Bellarabi, to book their berth for the second round, Xinhua news agency reported.

Hosts Hauenstein staged a well-positioned defence and kept the “Werkself” on the distance. However, things changed with 39 minutes played as Admir Mehmedi’s pass into path found Hernandez, who marked the opener from very close range.

Hauenstein remained focused after the break and chocked off Leverkusen’s efforts. Hence, the visitors had to wait until the 68th minute before Hernandez’ assist allowed Bellarabi to double the lead.

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Leverkusen should have tripled the lead but Hakan Calhanoglu rattled only the woodwork. The hosts didn’t give up and got rewarded for their efforts in the closing period as Andelo Srzentic headed home to make it 2-1 on the scoreboards. Nevertheless, Leverkusen were able to protect their lead to the end.

Six-time German Cup champions Werder Bremen suffered their 12th first round knock out in the club’s history as third division team Sportfreunde Lotte reaped a surprising 2-1 win on home soil.

The underdogs from Lotte caught a fairy tale start in front of their home crowd as Matthias Rahn’s drop kick following a corner broke the deadlock with just eight minutes into the game.

Bremen tried to respond and did well but Fin Bartels rattled only the bar before Sambou Yatabare’s chance got denied by the post moments later. The visitors’ efforts paid out seconds ahead of the half-time whistle when Zlatko Junuzovic nodded home the equaliser.

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Viktor Skripnik’s men grabbed the better start into the second half but it were the hosts who ensured the 2-1 lead through Andre Dej, who overcame Bremen keeper Felix Wiedwald following a one-on-one situation in the 54th minute.

Bremen pressed for the leveller to force Lotte into the overtime but Bartels destroyed all hope of a comeback by weakening his team with a straight red card after a violent conduct in the 82nd minute.

With the result, Bremen crashed out for the fourth time in six years at the first round in the German Cup while Lotte advanced into the second round for the first time in the club’s history.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim showed no mercy after crushing lower league side Germania Egestorf/Langreder 6-0. Darmstadt staged a goal festival as well, cruising to a 7-0 victory over Bremer SV.

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Frankfurt progressed after beating Magdeburg 5-4 on penalties while Mainz sealed the second round with a 7-5 on penalties over Unterhaching.



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