The German Cup first round should be a walk in the park for top-flight teams; the draw ensures them easy games. But Bundesliga sides are wilting, with Hamburg, Werder Bremen, Frankfurt and Nuremberg the latest to choke.
Werder Bremen crashed out of the German Cup against Preussen Münster, losing 4-2 after extra time in the blazing Sunday sunshine. Third division Münster scored in both halves of extra time to claim the fourth Bundesliga casuality of Sunday's matches alone.
Earlier in the afternoon, Karlsruhe and Hamburg played out a close match for the most part, with the favorites twice taking the lead. Karlsruhe only got their noses in front, decisively, in the 78th minute when Martin Stoll blasted home a rebound, after new Hamburg keeper Rene Adler could only punch a previous shot clear. Italian Elia Soriano stretched Karlsruhe's lead to 4-2 less than ten minutes later, with Hamburg unable to respond.
The team from Baden Württemberg is hardly an amateur "minnow" in the strictest sense of the German Cup's first round, though. Karlsruhe were in the top division, the Bundesliga, as recently as 2009 - before enduring a dramatic decline and being relegated from the second division last season. Karlsruhe actually won their last encounter with Hamburg 3-2 in February 2009.
The stars are out of joint
With a draw intentionally pitting lower league teams against top outfits, albeit providing the minnows home advantage in return, the first round of the German Cup is not meant to claim many big scalps.
Yet there were more shocks in store in to the west of Hanover, where TSV Havelse of the fourth-tier northern regional league beat Bundesliga regulars Nuremberg 3-2. The score was tied 2-2 after 90 minutes, Marc Vucinovic scored the decisive goal seven minutes into extra time.
Eintracht Frankfurt, a new addition to the Bundesliga, continued the shock exodus, losing 3-0 against Erzgebirge Aue to make it a quartet of top divison scalps on Sunday alone.
Hertha Berlin, relegated to the German second division last season, also slumped out of the competition. The capital club lost 2-1 against Wormatia Worms of the southwestern regional league.
Also on Saturday, Hoffenheim were torn apart 4-0 by fourth-tier Berlin AK 07 - a record upset for such a lowly outfit against a top-division team. Newly-promoted Greuther Fürth stumbled too, losing 2-0 against Kickers Offenbach.
Unlike many of their top-flight contemporaries, Hannover had actually read Sunday's script - coach Mirko Slomka's side waltzed past FC Nöttingen with the type of score-line one might expect in such a game: 6-1. Similarily, Shalke smashed Saarbrücken by five goals to nil.
Mainz and newly-promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf and were in action later in the day. Mainz won 4-0 at fifth division Rossbach while Dusseldorf beat third-tier Wacker Burghausen 1-0.