Four days, sixty-four teams, thirty-two matches. So ends another hectic opening round of this season's DFB-Pokal, a competition that sets many Davids against many Goliaths and produces both goal fests and massive shocks.
Mixed fortunes for last year's finalists
In last year's final in Berlin, Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München were surprised by Eintracht Frankfurt, falling to a surprise 1:3 defeat. While Bayern struggled to overcome fourth-tier SV Drochtersen/Assel in the first round of the 2018/19 competition, Frankfurt became the first-ever holders to fall at the first hurdle, also against fourth-tier opposition.
In the small town of Drochtersen on the banks of the river Elbe, Bayern were expected to rack up a bundle of goals against opponents who were - initially at least - just pleased to be there. But the goal glut never came.
The Bavarians were in complete control of the ball throughout the contest, but were flummoxed and frustrated by the part-timers, who defended manfully until just eight minutes from the end. What had began as a fun fixture had turned into a battle, and the Bavarians would have Polish marksman Robert Lewandowski to thank as they finally broke the spirit of their gallant opponents.
(You can read more on FC Bayern's opening cup match on my dedicated FC Bayern blog, Red Ramblings)
The city of Ulm is more well known for its church spire, the tallest in the world. It is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein and Bayern president Uli Hoeneß. It is not particularly famed for its football team, SSV 1846.
That had changed a little by the end of their cup tie against Frankfurt.
Eintracht had been hammered 5:0 by Bayern in the Super Cup the week before, but nobody expected anything less than a win against the fourth-tier side. Ulm, however, begged to differ. They took the lead through Steffen Kienle in the 48th minute, and withstood some serious pressure before Vitalij Lux added a crucial second fifteen minutes from time.
Goncalo Paciencia pulled one back for Die Adler in injury time, but that would be as good as got for Adi Hütter's side. The holders were out, and little Ulm had made their way into the history books.
Shocks, upsets and surprises
For shocks and surprises, the first place to look are the top flight sides. But just as surprising are those results that see 2. Bundesliga teams knocked out by lower division opponents. This year, there was one big upset and plenty of smaller ones.
If the biggest surprise of the first round was Frankfurt's defeat in Ulm, VfB Stuttgart's elimination at the hands of third tier Hansa Rostock was not far behind. The Swabians were never really in the contest against the former Bundesliga outfit, conceding a goal in each half.
The five rather less seismic shocks saw five second division teams fall at the first hurdle: St. Pauli, VfL Bochum, SSV Jahn Regensburg, FC Ingolstadt 04 and Dynamo Dresden. While St. Pauli and Ingolstadt both fell in close encounters against opponents one level below them, the other three were eliminated by fourth-tier sides.
The pick of these shock ties was a five-goal thriller which saw SV Rödinghausen from the Regionalliga West match former East German giants Dynamo goal for goal, before pipping them with a dramatic winner in the losing seconds of extra time.
In Regensburg, SSV Jahn were in front for most of the contest against BSC Chemie Leipzig, only for the fourth-tier side to equalise in the 69th minute and then cap things off with a last-gasp strike in injury time.
Close scrapes for RB Leipzig, Freiburg and Dortmund
While BSC Chemie were ousting Regensburg, Leipzig's biggest club RB would have plenty of trouble against part-timers Viktoria Köln. A goal down at half time, Die Roten Bullen were right on the brink until the hour mark, when they eased away with three unanswered goals.
It was considerably closer for SC Freiburg, who were pushed all the way by 3. Liga side Energie Cottbus. A Marcelo Frietas goal two minutes into the second half had put the Eastern German team in front, but a heartbreaking equaliser in injury time from Freiburg captain Mike Frantz brought the Bundesliga outfit level.
After both sides added to their tally in extra time, it all came down to the dreaded penalty shootout. The Bundesliga team held their nerve, scoring all of their spot-kicks to seal 5:3 victory.
Perhaps the most dramatic encounter of all 32 matches was Borussia Dortmund's meeting with 2. Bundesliga side SpVgg Greuther Fürth. For those who have always believed that Bayern were the specialists in scoring last-minute goals, they should watch highlights of this nerve-shredding cup tie.
For 77 minutes, the second division side held their own against their more illustrious opponents, before taking the lead through midfielder Sebastian Ernst. As the clock ticked down and past the ninety minute mark, Dortmund were left huffing and puffing. It was all going to plan for Die Kleeblätter ("the cloverleaves").
BVB looked set to join Frankfurt and Stuttgart on the cup scrapheap, but managed to pull the ultimate party-pooper trick. Five minutes into additional time, Belgian new boy Axel Witsel met Marco Reus' cross to even things up. It was a case of same again in extra time. With Fürth just seconds away from taking things to a penalty shootout, Reus popped up to break the hearts of the home supporters.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen made heavy weather of fourth-tier 1. CfR Pforzheim as they eked out a workmanlike a 1:0 win, while FC Augsburg and 1. FC Nürnberg both edged to 2:1 wins over fourth-tier sides TSV Steinbach Haiger and SV Linx.
To even out all of the shocks, last-gasp winners and close scrapes, there were plenty of one-sided goalfests. In all, nine teams scored five or more goals, with one making it into double figures.
Borussia Mönchengladbach were unable to match their club record 12:0 win against Dortmund in 1978, but would come mighty close against fourth-tier BSC Hastedt. Half a dozen in front by half time, Die Fohlen added another five to storm 11:0 in front with six minutes remaining. With a hat-trick apiece, Thorgan Hazard, Raffael and new signing Alassane Pléa all contributed to the carnage.
There was time for one more goal, but it would be a consolation for the Gladbach's bruised and battered opponents.
Gladbach's local rivals, 1. FC Köln, also registered a big win on the road. Fourth-tier BFC Dynamo were once the greatest power in East German football, but were no match for the team relegated to the 2. Bundesliga last season.
For having the temerity to take the lead after 19 minutes, the Berliners were subjected to a ferocious onslaught from the Billy Goats, who finished one short of requiring an extra number on the stadium scoreboard. The major profiteer was striker Simon Terodde, who bagged four goals, including three in twenty first half minutes.
Elsewhere, second division SV Sandhausen racked up half a dozen against fourth-tier Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, and Werder Bremen, TSG Hoffenheim and Hannover 96 also delivered sparkling six-packs. Meanwhile, there were five-fests for FC Heidenheim, Arminia Bielefeld, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hamburger SV, who scored two late goals to edge out valiant fourth-tier opponents TuS Erndtebrück 5:3.
Match Results Summary
Friday 17th August
Wehen Wiesbaden 3:2aet FC St. Pauli / 1. FC Magdeburg 0:1 Darmstadt 98 / 1. FC Schweinfurt 0:2 Schalke 04
Saturday 18th August
SV Linx 1:2 1. FC Nürnberg / SV Rödinghausen 3:2aet Dynamo Dresden / SV Elversberg 0:1 VfL Wolfsburg / TuS Dassendorf 0:1 MSV Duisburg / Wormatia Worms 1:6 Werder Bremen / SV Drochtersen/Assel 0:1 FC Bayern München / 1. FC Kaiserslautern 1:6 1899 Hoffenheim / 1. CfR Pforzheim 0:1 Bayer Leverkusen / SSV Ulm 2:1 Eintracht Frankfurt / TuS Erndtebrück 3:5 Hamburger SV / Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 0:6 SV Sandhausen / Erzgebirge Aue 1:3 Mainz 05 / Hansa Rostock 2:0 VfB Stuttgart
Sunday 19th August
Lok Stendal 0:5 Arminia Bielefeld / TSV Steinbach Haiger 1:2 FC Augsburg / Rot-Weiß Koblenz 0:5 Fortuna Düsseldorf / Weiche Flensburg 1:0 VfL Bochum / Chemie Leipzig 2:1 SSV Jahn Regensburg / BFC Dynamo 1:9 1. FC Köln / SSV Jeddeloh 2:5 1. FC Heidenheim / Viktoria Köln 1:3 RB Leipzig / Karlsruher SC 0:6 Hannover 96 / TSV 1860 München 1:3 Holstein Kiel / Carl Zeiss Jena 2:4 Union Berlin / BSC Hastedt 1:11 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Monday 20th August
SC Paderborn 07 2:1 FC Ingolstadt 04 / Energie Cottbus 2:2aet, 3:5 pso SC Freiburg / Eintracht Braunschweig 1:2 Hertha BSC / SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1:2aet Borussia Dortmund