The Round of 16 of the German Cup took place this past midweek. Eight matches were played two at a time, with two kickoff times on Tuesday and Wednesday each.
Eleven teams from Bundesliga 1 and five from Bundesliga 2 had mastered the first two rounds of the competition and thus reached this round.
It was the first time in several years that no Third Division or amateur team had advanced to the last sixteen of the German Cup.
On Tuesday, Second Division promotion hopefuls Hamburger SV hosted the top-flight relegation-threatened 1.FC Nuremberg and defeated the latter 1-0. It was not really a game between equals either, as the Hanseatic hosts dominated their opponents and should have beaten them by a higher margin.
The surprise of the round came elsewhere however, as Bayer Leverkusen failed to advance past 1.FC Heidenheim from the division below, despite having had a 1-0 halftime lead. Heidenheim came back to deservedly win 2-1.
SC Paderborn was another beneficiary of a comeback in the only all Second Division encounter of the round, as they defeated MSV Duisburg 3-1, with all four goals coming in the second half.
The match of the round came in Tuesday’s only all-Bundesliga game. In it, two beautiful free kicks made it 1-1 in regulation time between Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen. Then in extra-time, Bremen came back from behind twice to make it 3-3 and force a penalty shootout.
There, Werder keeper Jiri Pavlenka saved two spot-kicks to help them advance.
Wednesday’s games were void of any surprises. FC Augsburg defeated Holstein Kiel 1-0, RB Leipzig then overcame VfL Wolfsburg by the same score.
Later, Schalke 04 hammered Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-1 while their fans mourned the death of the club’s longtime legendary financial manager Rudi Assauer.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich needed extra-time to defeat Hertha BSC Berlin.
This means that five Bundesliga and three Second Division teams will be in the German Cup quarterfinals. Their draw is on Sunday.