Bremen, Dortmund score much-needed wins in German Cup

Franco di Santo of Bremen celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the DFB Cup second round match between Chemnitzer FC and Werder Bremen.

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Werder Bremen got a needed breath of fresh air Tuesday night, Franco DiSanto the orchestrator of a 2-0 DFB-Pokal second round victory over Third Division Chemnitzer FC that may ease some of the pressure on the club. 

Winless in their nine Bundesliga starts since an August 17 DFB Cup triumph over Illertisen, Bremen’s effort made new boss Viktor Skripnik a winner in his first match since taking charge on Sunday. 

While Bremen avoided what would have been a major embarrassment some other Bundesliga clubs were not so fortunate. Hertha Berlin fell to third division Arminia Bielefeld on penalties after a 0-0 draw, Hannover 96 went out to second division VfR Aalen, 2-0.

Third division MSV Duisburg nearly took out 10-man Cologne, who had Slawomir Pesko sent off in the 71st minute, who played 49 minutes a man light before goalkeeper Timo Horn saved two penalties to help his side win the tie-breaker, 4-1 from the spot after a 0-0 extra time draw.

Another third division side, Dynamo Dresden, kayoed second level VfL Bochum, 2-1 after extra time, repeating their first round feat when they eliminated Champions League participant Schalke 04.  

There was no problem for Borussia Dortmund, however, the Bundesliga strugglers rediscovering their attacking touch at FC St. Pauli, where first half goals from Ciro Immobile and Marco Reus set the stage for a 3-0 victory. 

Only some excellent work by Philipp Tschauner kept Dortmund from being in greater command at the interval, one save off Mats Hummels particularly noteworthy. Shinji Kagawa pounced on a poor 86th minute clearance to complete the scoring.

In Chemnitz, DiSanto, who needed stitches to close a cut on his head midway through the first half, returned to the field in time to combine with Izet Hajrovic to set up Fin Bartels’ 31st minute goal that quieted the sellout crowd of 10,161 in Saxony and seemed to right Werder Bremen’s ship.

Just before that, Chemnitzer’s Anton Fink had ripped a shot off the right post while things might have been very different on the night had Reagy Ofosu not completely miskicked a sixth minute chance when Bremen’s defense was wide open.

HEAR US OUT

After Bartels got Bremen on top the Bundesliga club took more control and would have been up 2-0 at the interval had not Marc Endres cleared the Chemnitzer line in the 41st minute. The second goal, fittingly, arrived with DiSanto the scorer. He finished four minutes into the second half when captain Clemens Fritz sent him in with room to maneuver.

VfR Aalen, second from the bottom in the second Bundesliga, used a own goal from Ceyhun Gulselam to get on top of Hannover in the 24th minute, then wrapped up their place in the third round when Dominick Drexler finished a four-pass movement by sending Michael Klauss in to score in the 59th.

Fourth division Kickers Offenbach collected a 1-0 victory over second tier Karlsruher SC that recalled their glory days. One of Germany’s famous old sides and a DFB Cup winner in 1970, Kickers now play in the regional leagues,but their Cup crowd was so large that kickoff was delayed 15 minutes to get everyone settled. 

Then a 63rd minute goal from Benjamin Pintol, who collected a header-on from Klaus Gjasula had manager Rico Schmitt jumping for joy on the touchline when referee Bibiana Steinhaus blew the final whistle on the victory.

Penalties were needed at Bielefeld where the Third Division hosts took Hertha Berlin through 120 scoreless minutes. Arminia keeper Alexander Schwolow saved the last two Hertha spot kicks to send his team into the third round, 4-2 on penalties after the 0-0 draw.

In the all-Second Bundesliga match, Kaiserslautern got a first half brace from Philipp Hofmann and rode that past SpVgg Greuther Feurth 2-0.

Bochum’s Simon Terodde’s header, set up by Fabian Holthaus, opened the scoring in the 54th minute in Dresden, but Dynamo’s top gun, Justin Eilers (nine league goals, three more in the Cup) replied seven minutes later then scored four minutes into extra time. Eilers missed a hat trick when he slid a shot past a completely open net in the 116th minute.