Dortmund, Berlin advance, Stuttgart struggle in German Cup

Berlin, Dec 17 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 2-0 win over Augsburg, while Hertha Berlin edged past second-division side Nuremberg by a similar margin and Stuttgart carved out a 3-2 win against resilient Braunschweig in overtime to book their berths for the last-eight stage of the German Cup.

Last year’s finalist Borussia Dortmund booked their tickets for the quarter-finals on Wednesday after they defeated Augsburg thanks to second-half goals by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, reports Xinhua.

Nevertheless, it was a stiff piece of work as the “BVB” lacked in ideas to overcome Augsburg’s defensive bulwark. Thus, the spectators had to wait until the 40th minute before Aubameyang tested onrushing Augsburg goalkeeper Marvin Hitz following a one-on-one situation.

Aubameyang cut a better figure in front of Augsburg’s custodian after the restart, as the Gabon international capitalized on Dong-Won Ji’s miscued clearance to break the deadlock into the top left corner with 61 minutes into the game.

Thomas Tuchel’s men gained momentum and doubled the lead through Mkhitaryan, whose deflected shot on target made the game safe in the 66th minute as Augsburg failed to pose any threat to Dortmund’s defence.

Stuttgart needed the overtime to sew up their last-eight ticket with a hard earned 3-2 win over second-division side Braunschweig on home soil.

Braunschweig caught the hosts flat-footed with just six minutes into the game as Joseph Baffo poked home a rebound that dropped off the bar to open the scoring.

With 21 minutes played, the hosts recovered from the setback and restored parity through Georg Niedermeier, who made use of a flicked on corner to head home. Stuttgart had even the chance to turn the tides but Braunschweig goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz saved Alexandru Maxim’s weak shot from the penalty spot in the 34th minute.

After the restart, Stuttgart continued to work out opportunities but Braunschweig goalie Gikiewicz denied Christian Gentner’s and Toni Sunjic’s promising chances. As both sides failed to grab the lead in the second-half, the overtime had to bring the decision.

The hosts grabbed a perfect start into the overtime as Timo Werner nodded home Borys Tashchy’s pinpoint cross into the box in the 99th minute. However, Braunschweig kept it bowling and shocked the retracting hosts with the equalizer in the 110th minute after substitute Orhan Ademi tapped home a follow up shot from close range.

Despite everything, Stuttgart bounced back with just two minutes remaining in overtime as Filip Kostic’s cross into the box found Sunjic, whose header marked the 3-2 final score.

Elsewhere, Berlin secured their progression into the quarterfinals with a faultless 2-0 performance against second division side Nuremberg. Vladimir Darida opened the scoring on the road before Anthony Brooks’ header sealed the deal for “Hertha”.

Meanwhile, the goals by Bochum’s Janik Haberer and Tim Hoogland were enough to oust 1860 Munich 2-0 on the road.

The German Cup quarterfinals will be held on 9th and 10th February 2016.

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