Rebic hat trick saves Frankfurt from early German Cup exit

              Leipzig's Nordi Mukiele, left, challenges for the ball with Osnabrueck's Anas Quahim, right, during the German soccer cup, DFB Pokal, first Round match between VfL Osnabrueck - RB Leipzig in Osnabrueck, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. (Guido Kirchner/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Ante Rebic scored a late hat trick to prevent Eintracht Frankfurt from making another first-round exit in the German Cup.

Frankfurt was knocked out at the first hurdle as defending champion last year, and it struggled against third-division Waldhof Mannheim on Sunday. It eventually prevailed 5-3 thanks to Rebic, who scored three goals in a 12-minute spell from the 76th.

Leipzig, which lost the final to Bayern Munich in May, also struggled before beating second-tier VfL Osnabrück 3-2 in Julian Nagelsmann’s debut as Leipzig coach.

Neither of Berlin’s Bundesliga clubs had any problems against fourth-tier sides. Promoted Union defeated Germania Halberstadt 6-0 and Hertha enjoyed a 5-1 victory at VfB Eichstätt in Ante Covic’s first game as coach.

Both Hamburg teams were forced to go through penalty shootouts which Hamburger SV won 6-5 at third-division Chemnitzer FC and St. Pauli prevailed 4-3 at VfB Lübeck.

Cologne won 3-2 on penalties at second-division SV Wehen Wiesbaden with goalkeeper Timo Horn the hero for the visitors.

Defending champion Bayern faces fourth-tier side Energie Cottbus on Monday.