Bayern Munich have put together yet another dominant performance against Hanover in the German Cup. Schalke, Frankfurt and Freiburg also picked up wins, while Hertha Berlin suffered an upset in Kaiserslautern.
The festivities of Oktoberfest may have overshadowed the lead-up to the German Cup second-round match on Wednesday but, on the field, Bayern Munich were focused and fierce against Hanover.
As expected, Bayern hopped out to an early lead in the 16th minute. Xherdan Shaqiri's cross from the left wing found Thomas Müller in the box, and the Germany international let the ball bounce off him and into the net for an awkward but nonetheless legal goal. Approximately 10 minutes later, striker Claudio Pizarro doubled the Bayern lead when he headed home a Dante cross.
Unwilling to accept their fate so early, however, Hanover continued to fight and were rewarded with a goal of their own in the 37th minute. Didier Ya Konan sprinted into the area to meet a Sebastian Pocognoli cross and assure the visitors went into halftime with the score 2-1.
In the second 45, Bayern eliminated any hope Hanover might have had of a cup upset. Müller once again got on the end of a Shaqiri cross in the 64th minute to score his second. Some 24 minutes later, substitute Franck Ribery added a fourth to put out of reach a match that was never really in doubt. The win books a place in the last 16 for high-flying Bayern.
Schalke disappoint Darmstadt
In Darmstadt, the third-tier underdogs were hoping for a historic upset against Champions League participants Schalke, but were spoiled at home in a 3-1 loss.
Schalke were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute when Darmstadt goalkeeper Jan Zimmerman fouled Jefferson Farfan in the box and the Peruvian winger dispatched the ensuing penalty. But rather than let the floodgates open, Darmstadt equalized less than a minute later. A free kick into the box resulted in a Hanno Behrens header, and suddenly it was 1-1.
In the second half, Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes put the visitors ahead with a 59th minute header. Down but not out, Darmstadt continued to press for the equalizer, but Max Meyer's low show in the area four minutes from time gave Schalke the cushion they needed to guarantee the win.
In a moment of nostalgia, longtime Schalke and Germany winger Gerald Asamoah, less than a week from his 35th birthday, was given a run-out for the final moments of the match. Having recently re-signed with the reserves, it was his first appearance for the senior side in since he left the club in 2010.
Eintracht Frankfurt hosted Bochum in a rematch of the 1987 German Cup final. Once again, it was the Eagles who came out on top.
Just two minutes of Takashi Inui (pictured above) creativity put Frankfurt two goals ahead on the 25-minute mark. The run started with Sebastian Rode cutting in from the left. He passed to Inui in the box, and the Japanese midfielder converted to score the first. A minute later, Inui played creator when he sent a ball into the area for Stefan Aigner, who powered a shot into the top corner.
The two-goal cushion allowed Frankfurt to rest easy in the second half. A third goal from in-form striker Vaclav Kadlec was waved off late in the game, but it wouldn't matter, as the hosts held on for the 2-0 win.
Derby in the southwest
In a Baden-Württemberg derby cup matchup, Freiburg defeated Stuttgart 2-1. The home fans were eager to have something to cheer about after Freiburg's poor start to the league, and what better than to get the much-needed win over their southern rivals.
After a scoreless first half, Matthias Ginter headed in a corner to put the hosts ahead in the 52nd minute. Mike Hanke doubled the Freiburg lead just under 20 minutes later with a well-placed shot from inside the box.
A late goal in the 87th minute from Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic temporarily breathed some life into the visitors, but they were unable to grab a second, and Freiburg finished as winners.
In a matchup between two of Germany's on-again, off-again Bundesliga sides, first-tier Hertha Berlin were bested by second-tier Kaiserslautern. Peter Niemeyer put Hertha up in the 25th minute after finishing off a Ben Sahar cross from the right wing.
But Kaiserslautern found another gear in the second half, and reeled off three goals to come back for the victory. Mo Idrissou scored the first seven minutes after the restart with a low header off a corner, and Karim Matmour followed with a second 10 minutes later. Olivier Occean capped off Hertha's collapse when Tolga Cigerci's tackle errantly put the ball right in the path of the Canadian striker, whose one-time finish from close range went under keeper Thomas Kraft and into the net.
It was an impressive collapse from a Hertha side that have been in relatively good form since their promotion to the Bundesliga last spring.
Saarbrücken dream continues
After defeating top-flight Werder Bremen 3-1 in the first round, third-division Saarbrücken continued their impressive cup run with a win over second-tier Paderborn. Two excellent finishes in the box from Thomas Rathgeber made it 2-0 before halftime.
Paderborn pulled one back after half time with a 71st minute header from close-range Mahir Saglik header that looked like it might have been offside. But the Saarland club stayed composed and grabbed the hard-earned 2-1 win.
In a near-empty Stadion am Bornheimer Hang, FSV Frankfurt fell 2-0 to Ingolstadt. Thomas Hajnal and Philipp Hoffman were the scorers in a deserved win for the Bavarian visitors. In a 1-0 win against third-tier Osnabrück, a penalty from captain Torsten Matuschka was all Union Berlin needed to book their place in the next round.
The draw for the German Cup round of 16 will be held on September 29.