The DFB Pokal semi-finals are set after Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed their status as home favorites and defeated fellow Bundesliga sides Union Berlin and Werder Bremen on Wednesday. Now, the two will join Bayern Munich and Saarbrücken in the Final Four.
Leverkusen complete late comeback against Union Berlin
Union Berlin's dream of playing the German Cup Final in their hometown is over, but the Bundesliga debutants gave favorites Bayer Leverkusen all they could handle at BayArena. Union lined up in a 5-4-1, left no spaces for the hosts and took the lead in the first half through a header from Ingvartsen.
Leverkusen made a formation change at halftime and played much better in the second half, but still struggled to create chances against Union's tight defense. But when Berlin defender Cristopher Lenz was sent off for a double yellow card, the doors opened for the home team, and Bayer finally found a breakthrough.
The equalizer came from substitute Karim Bellarabi in the 72nd minute, and they continued to press until Charles Aránguiz scored a header from a corner to put his team ahead; there was still time for Moussa Diaby to score the third, and the final whistle came to end Union's dream and send Leverkusen through to the semis.
Frankfurt dominate Bremen, advance to second semi-final in three years
2018 winners Eintracht Frankfurt are back in the Final Four thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory over relegation candidates Werder Bremen at Commerzbank Arena. Frankfurt had less of the ball but were comfortable with their defensive shape and waited for good chances to counter-attack.
It took them a while to find the back of the net, but a handball by a Bremen defender inside the box was spotted by VAR and the home team was given a penalty kick, which André Silva dispatched with ease. A goal right before halftime is always a huge confidence boost, and it showed in the second half as Frankfurt became more dangerous until Daichi Kamada found the back of the net after tapping home a beautiful cross from Filip Kostic.
Leverkusen and Frankfurt join Bayern Munich and fourth division Saarbrücken in the semi-final draw, which will take place on Sunday to decide the two matchups. This has been a Pokal full of upsets, and we might be in for even more surprises when the semifinals take place in late April.