Both Bundesliga teams on display on Friday night are in the hat for the second round but neither were entirely convincing against lower league opposition. Elsewhere, there was a thrilling win for Dynamo Dresden.
The first game of this year's DFB Pokal was a thriller between fourth tier Koblenz and Dynamo Dresden. The home side, who were forced to play the tie 30 kilometers (267 miles) to the east in Zwickau due to stadium renovations, took a shock early lead through Dejan Bozic before Dresden quickly restored parity thanks to Erich Berko .
The Bundesliga 2 side then took the lead when Philip Heise curled a powerful free kick in to the top corner shortly after the break. Then the real fun started. Dimitrios Popovits equalized for Koblenz with ten minutes remaining but again Dresden fought back with an Aias Aosman strike. Koblenz had one last shot at staying alive but Andreas Glockner's penalty was saved and Dynamo were the first name in the hat for the second round.
Rot-Weiss Essen 1 - 2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
(Baier 29' - Hofman 79', Raffael 83')
Gladbach managed to book their progression but made heavy weather of it against Rot-Weiss Essen. The fourth tier club took a first half lead courtesy of a Benjamin Baier header. The attacking midfielder threw himself at a brilliant right wing cross to nod past Yann Sommer and increase the hope among the home fans.
As the game wore on, that hope began to turn in to expectation as Gladbach struggled to break the hosts down. But class finally told and two goals in four minutes from Jonas Hofman and Raffael saw the top flight side through.
Karlsruher 0 - 3 Bayer Leverkusen
(Kohr 93', Pohjanpalo 99', Bailey 105')
The other Bundesliga side in action on Friday night also made heavy weather of a lower league side, with Leverkusen needing extra time and some inspiration from Julian Brandt to get past a stubborn Karlsruher outfit.
Brandt provided assists for Dominik Kohr, who opened the scoring with a header, and promising young winger Leon Bailey either side of a Joel Pohjanpalo strike. The late show meant Leverkusen avoided going out of the cup early for the second year running after they were humbled by lowly Sportfreunde Lotte last year.
Holstein Kiel 2 - 1 Eintracht Braunschweig
(Drexler 71', Ducksch 77' - Nyman 48')
After a goalless first half, a pair of late strikes secured the hosts a win in an all Bundesliga 2 clash. Kiel fell behind early on whenChristoffer Nyman gave Braunschweig the lead.
But the hosts weren't prepared to give up on their cup campiagn just yet and goals from Dominick Drexler and Marvin Ducksch secured their safe passage.