The first two matches of the DFB Pokal quarterfinals were played on Tuesday, with one very predictable, yet tricky, win and another chapter added to one of the most spectacular stories in recent German football history.
Bayern survive Schalke, Reach 11th straight semi-final
The seven-time defending Bundesliga champions are through to the Final Four in the Cup for the eleventh consecutive season thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win against Schalke 04 at Veltins Arena. The slim lead came thanks to a first-half goal from midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who played at center-back on Tuesday for the injured Jerome Boateng.
Schalke manager David Wagner employed a 5-4-1 formation designed to defend deep inside their half and give all of the possession to Bayern, who took the ball and struggled all game to create meaningful chances without injured striker Robert Lewandowski. Schalke had their moments–including an early goal disallowed for offside in the first half–but couldn't really threaten the Bavarians after Kimmich's goal.
Bayern remain unbeaten since December and have won 13 of their last 14 games, as the champions have looked as dominant as ever and remain favorites to win both domestic titles this season.
Saarbrücken knock out Düsseldorf thanks to historic goalkeeping performance
Do you know FC Saarbrücken? It's OK if you don't, because until a couple of months ago they were a semi-professional team from Germany's fourth division. Now, they're German Cup semi-finalists, the first fourth division team to ever do it. And they did so in historic, dramatic and spectacular fashion in their quarterfinal matchup against Bundesliga side Düsseldorf.
The home team took the lead in the first half through Jänicke and were seven minutes away from the semis. Then, hilarity ensued. Düsseldorf were awarded a penalty, but Hennings' kick was saved by Saarbrücken goalkeeper Daniel Batz, and it seemed as though the home team was surely going through. That is, it seemed that way until the last play of the game, when Jorgensen equalized for Düsseldorf and sent the game to overtime and then penalties.
Even that doesn't tell the whole story: after TWENTY combined penalty kicks from both teams, it was Saarbrücken who won 7-6 thanks to goalkeeper Daniel Batz, who added to his regulation heroics by saving FOUR penalties, and his last save was the decisive one. Saarbrücken have made history, Batz is an instant German football legend, and this incredible Cinderella story continues. Football is amazing.