This week it is time for the round of the last sixteen in the German cup competition, the DFB Pokal, which will be played as usual on several days during the week. Yesterday evening we already could witness the first surprises, and the cup now has three Bundesliga teams less.
The Bundesliga leader, Borussia Dortmund, was defeated at home and in front of his own audience by Werder Bremen after an exciting and dramatic match.
The decision was only made in the penalty shoot-out, after the regular 90 minutes the score was 1:1, and even though there were four more goals in extra time, there was still no winner.
The guests had taken the lead early in the 5th minute through Milot Rashica, but BVB top scorer Marco Reus was able to equalise just before the half-time whistle. Until the end of the second half, both teams still had some more opportunities to decide the game early, but it remained a draw for the time being.
In extra time, things really got going. Dortmund managed to take the lead twice through Christian Pulisic and Achraf Hakimiin, but Werder always came back and equalised the match thanks to Claudio Pizarro and Martin Harnik. The fans of both teams had already gone through an emotional rollercoaster ride before the penalty shootout, and it promised to get even more exciting.
It was Werder goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka who was to become the great hero of the game, saving the first two Dortmund penalty kicks, and since all the other players were scoring afterwards, played a decisive part in Werder's victory.
This season the BVB had already had some difficulties before to win the their cup matches against supposedly weaker teams and had to go overtime several times. And 10 years ago Werder Bremen had thrown Borussia Dortmund out of the cup at the same place in the Westfalenstadion, sometimes history repeats itself.
Hamburg kicks out Nürnberg
HSV, who have to play in the second league for the first time in their history this season, recovered well from last weekend's defeat and after many years made it finally to the quarter-finals again, after a close 1-0 win against 1.FC Nürnberg.
The home side already had good opportunities in the first half, but once again they could not use them. But the guests did not really pose much danger in this game, so that Hamburg, although some important regular players were forced to rest in this match, did not really had to face any difficulties.
And in half 2 it was newcomer Berkay Özca who in the 54th minute scored his most important goal so far. The HSV still had several opportunities afterwards, but all of them did not generate a better result.
Even if the score cannot really express this, but Hamburg's victory against a harmless Nürnberger team was at no time endangered and the North Germans have thus safely entered the next round of the DFB Cup.
Bayer Leverkusen embarrasses itself in Heidenheim
Yesterday evening the factory club had to play at the second division team 1. FC Heidenheim and in the beginning of the game everything looked really good for the guests. In the first half they could clearly dominate the game and also had several clear opportunities, although they could not yet make use of them. Just before the break it was then Charles Aránguiz who nutmegged the goalkeeper from Heidenheim and scored the lead for Leverkusen.
But in half time 2, Heidenheim then woke up and just minutes after the restart Nikola Dovedan already scored the equalizer. The home side became much more courageous and had several opportunities themselves, of which Maurice Multhaup was able to use one in the 72nd minute to score the winning goal.
Leverkusen remained rather weak in the second half and was once again unable to live up to his role as favourite. In the end, however, Heidenheim won rightfully and the second-league team deserved to make it to the quarter-finals.