Wolfsburg eliminated Bayer Leverkusen from the German Cup in dramatic fashion, while Borussia Dortmund put five past Hannover. It was the final evening of games in Germany before the winter break.
Wolfsburg left it late at the Volkswagen Arena on Wednesday evening in the German Cup, but a dramatic 90th minute winner assured the hosts a berth in the quarterfinals.
Leverkusen took a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute through a Fagner own goal. Sebastian Boenisch sent in a cross from the left wing, but the Brazilian right back's outstretched leg redirected the ball into his own net.
It was probably a deserved lead for the visitors, who looked the better side going into halftime.
But Wolfsburg fired back when play resumed. The pressure paid off, in the 78th minute the hosts finally equalized. A poor clearance left the ball at the edge of the box. Christian Träsch volleyed a powerful shot at the near post, and Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno was helpless to stop it.
As the game wound down, extra time seemed imminent until Bas Dost, pictured above, stepped up to fire Wolfsburg into the quarterfinals.
After a quick counterattack started by Diego, Mehmet Toprak attempted to head clear a ball into the box, but he misdirected it straight to the feet of Dost. The Dutch striker one-timed it past Leno, ending Leverkusen's cup run.
Bochum breeze past undermanned 1860
It was an easier victory for second-tier Bochum in their 3-0 win against visiting 1860 Munich.
After a slow start, the Ruhrstadion sprung to life in the 27th min when defender Guillermo Juan Vallori was shown a straight red for a last man foul.
It didn't take long for the hosts to take advantage of their extra man. In minute 31, Leo Goretzka headed down a ball into the area for Zlatko Dedic. The Slovenian was there to meet it in traffic, sending his finish low past goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly and into the back of the net.
In the second half, the hosts pulled away. In the 75th minute defender Marcel Maltritz doubled the Bochum lead after nodding in a corner.
Just three minutes later, it was Maltritz again, who marked his brace with a second goal off a corner.
With a 3-0 lead, the game was all but over, and Bochum advanced to the next round.
Dortmund continue title defense
Borussia Dortmund continued their German Cup title defense in fine form, while Stuttgart held on to beat Cologne in the evening's later games, the final two in Germany before the winter break.
It didn't take long for Dortmund to get on the board at the Westfalenstadion against Hannover. Mario Gözte found himself wide open at the far post in the third minute, and easily finished off a Kevin Grosskreutz header.
In minute 18, Dortmund doubled their lead when Jakub Blaszczykowski picked up a Marco Reus pass and finished past Ron Robert Zieler.
But it was the final goal before halftime, a free kick from Götze, that was the highlight of the night.
In the 40th minute, the young Germany international fired a clever shot below Hannover wall, and Zieler could only stand and watch as the ball rolled into the left corner of the net.
Hannover's Mame Biram Diouf scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute, but his shot was just a temporary aberration in the dominance that was Dortmund on Wednesday.
Dortmund extended their lead just five minutes later when Götze finished off a Lewandowski cross with a hat trick-worthy side-volley.
Lewandowski finally got on the score sheet himself in stoppage time, firing in Dortmund's fifth goal of the game from close range.
Dortmund will need to consistently put on the type of performance they did against Hannover when the second half of the Bundesliga season resumes if they want to have any hope of winning the league for a third consecutive year.
Stuttgart knock off Cologne
It was never going to be easy in Stuttgart for second-tier Cologne.
Stuttgart's Captain for the evening Christian Gentner put the hosts up in the 31st minute with a fine volley. The midfielder one-touched the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Kessler with his left foot to make it 1-0.
Just four minutes later, it was bad luck for the visitors when Cologne defender Jonas Hector was ruled to have handled the ball in the box. Vedad Ibisevic stepped up to take the penalty, and fired the shot into the top left corner of the net.
Christian Clemens managed to pull one back for Cologne in the 80th minute, finishing off a Daniel Royer cross to make it 2-1. But it was too little too late for the visitors, and Stuttgart held on to win.
The loss means just two lower division sides are left in the German Cup, including third-tier Kickers Offenbach.
The Bundesliga resumes on January 18, 2013, with Schalke hosting Hannover. The German Cup quarterfinals kick off barely a month later on February 27.
Fans hoping to see a repeat of last year's clash of titans in the Cup final - Dortmund and Bayern Munich - will have to settle for seeing that match in the quarterfinals this year. Offenbach host Wolfsburg, Bochum are away to Stuttgart, and Mainz take on Freiburg in the other matches of the quarterfinals.