Berlin, Sep 14 (IANS) Hoffenheim saw off courageous Chemnitzer FC 3-2 following a penalty shootout whereas Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen got the job done with more ease to get through the opening round in the German Cup.
Chemnitzer FC took the reins and disrupted Hoffenheim’s build-up work in the opening stages on Sunday, forcing Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann into action twice with early chances, reports Xinhua news agency.
Hoffenheim gained a foothold into the clash as the clock ticked after Emin Bickakic and Dennis Geiger came close at the half-hour mark.
The lower league side had their goalkeeper Jakub Jakubov to thank as he defused the promising efforts on target from Andrej Kramaric and Christoph Baumgartner before the break.
After the restart, Kramaric remained a factor and secured his side the opener as he benefitted on Ihlas Bebou’s square pass to tap home into the open goal with three minutes played in the second half.
The hosts remained unimpressed and flabbergasted Hoffenheim with the equalizer at the hour mark when Kevin Freiberger controlled a pinpoint cross from Paul Milde to beat Baumann with a turn and shoot from 10 meters.
Both sides traded frenetic attacks but neither was able to break the tie before the final whistle.
Hoffenheim pressed for the winner in extra time but it was the underdogs who grabbed the lead as Freiberger’s lay up allowed Christian Bickel to slot home in the 100th minute to make it 2-1.
The top flight side started an onslaught on Chemnitz’s goal and they got rewarded in the 111th minute when Kramaric wrapped up his brace after keeping his nerves from the penalty spot to ensure the shootout.
In the penalty shootout, Hoffenheim’s goalkeeper Baumann saved two penalties while Bickel missed the target from the spot, allowing Hoffenheim to advance into the second round.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen cruised into the next round as Nadiem Amiri’s brace rounded off the 7-0 goal fest against Eintracht Norderstedt.
Stuttgart edged third-division club Hansa Rostock on a sole goal from Sila Wamangituka and Jonathan Schmid’s 2-1 winner for Freiburg sealed Waldhof Mannheim’s first round exit.