Mannheim almost pulled off the shock of the first round, but Eintracht Frankfurt mounted a late fightback to squeeze through. Elsewhere, RB Leipzig did just enough in Osnabrück in Julian Nagelsmann’s first game.
Mannheim 3-5 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Sulejmani 3, 11, Marx 72’ - Kamada 21’, Kostic 45’+1, Rebic 76’, 81’, 88’)
Ante Rebic scored a late hat-trick in Mannheim as Eintracht Frankfurt came face-to-face with a second consecutive first round exit in the competition they won in 2017 before winning out.
Mannheim raced into a shock 2-0 lead courtesy of a Valmir Sulejmani double inside 11 minutes, but Frankfurt, who fielded a strong side, clawed their way back to level terms before the break, through Daichi Kamada’s goal out of nothing and Filip Kostic’s crisp finish in first half stoppage time .
The shock was on the cards again when Jan-Hendrik Marx fired in a thunderbolt which raised the roof at the Carl-Benz Stadion. But Frankfurt quickly made it 3-3 through Rebic, who then added another two to put the game beyond the hosts.
Osnabrück 2-3 RB Leipzig
(Amenyido 9’, Alvarez pen 73’ - Sabitzer 7, 31’, Klostermann 29’)
RB Leipzig didn’t have things all their own way in Osnabrück as Julian Nagelsman took charge of the Bundesliga outfit for the first time in a competitive game.
The Nagelsmann era got off to a fine start as Leipzig took an early lead through Marcel Sabitzer, but the smile was wiped from Nagelsmann’s face as the hosts levelled two minutes later through Amenyido’s close-range finish.
Lukas Klostermann thrashed in a second to ease their nerves though and Sabitzer quickly made it three before the break, finishing off a swift counter-attack. Marcos Alvarez got one back for the hosts in the second half, but Leipzig held off the challenge to book their place in the next round.
Hero Horn, Hamburg relief
Timo Horn’s shootout heroics settled a tight game in Wiesbaden that went to penalties after a 3-3 draw. The Cologne stopper saved three spot kicks to give the Bundesliga newcomers a 3-2 victory in the shootout, which also saw Cologne miss twice from the spot.
Penalties also settled a classic game between Chemnitz and troubled Hamburg, which ended 2-2 after 90 minutes. Chemnitz defender Sören Reddemann missed the crucial kick, allowing Hamburg to sneak through with a 6-5 victory.
Late drama, penalties and thrashings
Elsewhere, there was late drama between Lübeck and St Pauli, who prevailed on penalties. Lübeck forced extra time with a 115th minute equalizer to make it 3-3, before St Pauli’s Dimitris Diamantakos was sent off in the 120th minute. But the Hamburg side won it in the shootout.
Newly-promoted Bundesliga side Paderborn also narrowly escaped defeat to win on penalties. They came through in Rödinghausen after two late goals by the home side forced extra time. There were no such problems for Union Berlin, who won 6-0 in Halberstadt, while Darmstadt, Hertha Berlin, Holstein Kiel also won big. In Sunday's remaining game, Duisburg saw off Fürth with a routine 2-0 win.