Germany still has high hopes of its five remaining teams reaching the last 16 of this season's UEFA Cup despite a mixed bag of results in this week's round of matches. Hamburg and Bremen looked best in their matches.
Hamburg's Paolo Guerrero, left, made a huge impact after coming on as a substitute
While SV Hamburg and Werder Bremen won their matches, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen drew away from home and Nuremberg lost on a single goal.
Hamburg came out 3-1 winners at FC Zurich on Thursday, Feb. 14, in their first-leg match of the tournament's knock-out stage.
A first-half goal by David Jarolim and second-half strikes from Ivica Olic and Piotr Trochowski put Hamburg on the road to a comfortable victory.
Hamburg lost Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart who limped off with an ankle injury in the 33rd minute to be replaced by Jose Guerrero.
The Peru striker then set up the opening two goals in the 33rd and 67th minutes and earned the foul which led to Trochowski scoring with a direct free-kick in the 77th.
Zurich notched a consolation three minutes from time when a shot by Andres Vasquez was fumbled onto the inside of the post by keeper Frank Rost and Irish referee Alan Kelly ruled the ball had crossed the line.
Bremen waltz to a comfortable win
Werder Bremen enjoyed a 3-0 home win over Portugal's Braga in their opening knock-out round match on Wednesday.
Bremen cruised to a win against the Portuguese
Goalkeeper Tim Wiese saved two penalties while first-half goals from Naldo and Daniel Jensen and a penalty by Hugo Almeida sealed a comfortable win for the German side.
Naldo put Bremen in front after just four minutes with a long-range shot before Wiese saved a Roland Linz spot kick to maintain Bremen's lead.
Jensen doubled Werder's advantage on 27 minutes with a shot from outside the penalty area before Wiese once again saved a penalty, this time from Jorginho nine minutes later. Almeida completed the scoring with virtually the last kick of the game after Joao Pereira handled in the area.
"When we get penalties we have to convert them," said Braga's Linz afterwards. "Now it will be really tough for us in the return leg."
Bayern struggle to keep Scots in check
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Scottish side Aberdeen. Goals from Miroslav Klose and Hamit Altintop put Bayern into a strong position for the return leg in Munich next week.
However the four-time European champions were made to fight all the way by a spirited Aberdeen side depleted by injuries.
Klose helped Bayern stay in touch with Aberdeen
"It's quite normal that when you play internationally -- a team like Aberdeen can play above themselves," Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said. "A 2-2 draw away from home in Europe used to be like a victory. We never think about losing in Munich."
Aberdeen were hoping to repeat a quarter-final win over the Bundesliga leaders 25 years ago on their way to lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup.
They took a surprise lead in the 24th minute when Josh Walker rifled in a shot from more than 20 meters.
Bayern had already missed chances, but Klose made no mistake with a shot on the turn into the roof of the net five minutes later.
Aberdeen went back in front when Sone Aluko beat Michael Rensing -- in goal for the flu-ridden Oliver Kahn -- with a low shot from inside the area three minutes before half-time.
Bayern again leveled after a Ze Roberto cross struck Alan Maybury on the arm and Spanish referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez awarded a penalty. Altintop's 54th-minute spot-kick was parried by Jamie Langfield but the Turkey international followed up to make sure at the second chance.
Nuremberg and Leverkusen face harder tasks
Nuremberg slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Portugal's Benfica in Lisbon on Wednesday, sunk by Ariza Makukula's 43rd-minute winner.
It was the first game in charge for Thomas von Heesen, who replaced the sacked Hans Meyer on Monday.
Also on Wednesday, Bayer Leverkusen earned a goalless draw at Turkish side Galatasaray.