Jan 29, 2008

Shock And Awe In German Cup

German Bundesliga teams were back in action for the first time in more than a month today, with a quartet of games in the DFB Pokal Round of 16 on the docket. Half were upsets, with a third turning on three goals scored in the waning minutes. Table toppers Bayern Munich were the only favorites spared the ignominy of defeat. The Bavarian side saw off third-division minnows Wuppertaler SV Borussia, though not without a challenge; at halftime the teams were tied 2-2 before Bayern won 5-2 on three second half goals

The biggest game of the day was undoubtedly the Borussia Dortmund versus Werder Bremen match-up, which die Borussia took by a 2-1 score. Dortmund is traditionally very strong at home, but have had a rough season and currently sit 10th, so the result was still surprising. Werder are second in the Bundesliga and that only on goal difference. Of course I now feel perfectly vindicated dropping them from the Top 25 this week!

The largest upset was probably second division club 1899 Hoffenheim's 2-1 victory over Bundesliga side Hansa Rostock. I had never heard of Hoffenheim and didn't even know they were in the second Bundesliga (indeed they are newly-promoted, having spent the five previous years in the Regionalliga Sued, which is the third division). But they're actually eighth in the second Bundesliga. Rostock are themselves newly-promoted but are at grave risk of being sent right back down; the former East German side sit 15th, just two points clear of the relegation spots.

As for shock value, the match-up between second division sides Alemannia Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle as they're known on the other side of the Rhine, and 1860 Munich (Franz Beckenbauer's original team) was undoubtedly the biggest. Aachen led 2-0 with 81 minutes played, but the Sechziger (60ers, as 1860 are known to their fans) scored thrice in a six minute span to take it. Two Yanks saw action for '60: Craig Berhalter and Josh Wolff, but neither got on the scoresheet (in fact Wolff was subbed out in the 54th minute with his team still down 2-0).

Photo taken from tsv1860.de without permission.

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