Berlin, Feb 6 (IANS) Werder Bremen made it through to the quarter-finals of the German Cup, defeating Borussia Dortmund on home soil in a penalty shootout (2-4) after 120 minutes’ play ended in a 3-3 draw.
Although Max Kruse was in charge of scoring the final penalty, the fourth, Dortmund’s fate was sealed when the first two charges by Paco Alcacer and Maximilian Philipp failed to score on Tuesday, reports Efe news.
Although Axel Philipp and Julian Weigl then scored, Bremen did not miss a single shot and advanced to the quarter-finals.
The decider of the match took place in extra time. The initial ninety minutes had a clear script with Bremen doing good defensive work and Dortmund with the ball, but without being able to generate clear arrivals on goal.
Bremen got off to a good start and went ahead in the fifth minute through Kosovar Milos Rashica. Rashica converted a free kick from Max Kruse and left Eric Oelschlegel without a chance.
After this first goal came a phase in which Bremen seemed to gather some confidence but after the first quarter of an hour Dortmund began to appropriate the game but without generating clear chances.
A chance from Mario Goetze in the 15th minute, a Christian Pulisic heel-to-centre shot that went slightly off course, seemed to be the kick-off for a Dortmund pressure phase.
What came after that, however, was too little. The draw came in the last play of the first half with a Reus free kick.
In the second half, Bremen had the better chances.
Only in extra time, when Bremen decided to seize the ball, did the match become a dramatic spectacle. Dortmund, on the counter-attack, went ahead through Christian Pulisic, behind a wall with Alcacer, in the 105th minute.
Three minutes later, veteran Claudio Pizarro, who had gone into extra time, drew the game on a rebound.
Dortmund went ahead again, again with a counter-attack, with Achraf Hakimi’s goal from the centre of the area. Then, in the last minute of extra time, as Dortmund prepared to celebrate Martin Harnik equalized again with a header from a corner shot.
Then came the penalty shootout and Pizarro took the first and did not miss but in the end the hero of Bremen was their goal keeper Jiri Pavlenka who managed to save two shots.
Hamburg, who beat Nuremberg 1-0, Heidenheim, who shocked Bayer Leverkusen 2-1, and Paderborn, who beat Duisburg 3-1 away, also went through to the quarter-finals.