Holders Bayern Munich crashed out at the quarter- final stages of the German Cup at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen Wednesday while Werder Bremen and SV Hamburg both progressed.
Bayern now have one less competition to worry about
Leverkusen prevailed 4-2 in a thriller while Bremen thumped VfL Wolfsburg 5-2 and Hamburg edged second division side SV Wehen 2-1.
The game at the LTU Arena in Dusseldorf was scoreless at halftime but Leverkusen raced into a 3-0 lead after the break thanks to goals from Tranquillo Barnetta, Arturo Vidal and Patrick Helmes.
Lucio and Miroslav Klose reduced the deficit to 3-2 with two goals in the space of three minutes but Juergen Klinsmann's side couldn't find the equalizer in the remaining 16 minutes and Leverkusen made the game safe in added time with a goal from Stefan Kiessling.
"Unfortunately, we have to forget about the cup but it won't help to have a go at the boys," said Klinsmann. "Something was missing for an hour and we have to digest that now."
Bayer coach Bruno Labbadia, meanwhile, said the victory was fully earned.
"We have a really young team with great potential," he said. "This win was an important step, not least in the minds of the players."
Bremen turn on the style to reach semis
Wolfsburg couldn't overcome Bremen
Five-time winners Bremen raced into an early two-goal lead thanks goals in the first six minutes from midfielders Diego and Mesut Ozil and although Wolfsburg managed to restore parity, a brace from Claudio Pizarro ensured a comfortable win for Thomas Schaaf's side.
Diego showed brilliant technical skill to make it 1-0 after just three minutes and then helped set up the second by cleverly blocking his opponent to allow Ozil to run through to score.
Wolfsburg pulled one back on 10 minutes when Edin Dezko netted from close range and Dezko leveled matters with his sixth goal in two cup games one minute before the break after Bremen defender Per Mertesacker let him head home unchallenged.
However, Diego restored Bremen's two goal lead with a penalty on 55 minutes before Pizarro made the game safe on 71 minutes after being set up by substitute Hugo Almeida.
Pizarro completed the rout with his second of the game a minute from time, although the referee did appear to ignore a raised flag by his assistant.
Bremen have now won their last five cup games against Wolfsburg.
"It was a great game," said Schaff. "Thank God we found our game again as when it was 2-0 we must have obviously thought that it would get a bit easier."
Hamburg survive nail-biting finish
Hamburg survived a late scare before they could celebrate
In the other match, Hamburg looked to be cruising against Wehen after a Marko Kopilas own goal on 17 minutes and a Mladen Petric strike on 37 gave Martin Jol's side a 2-0 lead.
However, Sandro Schwarz made it 2-1 in the 85th minute, setting up a tense finish for the Bundesliga side.
"I'm happy that we are through," said Jol. "Naturally we want the title as well."
Second division side Mainz 05 booked their place in the semi- finals Tuesday with an upset 1-0 victory over Schalke 04. The semi- final draw takes place on Saturday.