Timo Werner sinks Borussia Dortmund

DFB Pokal

Timo Werner was spotted on the break by a charging Mohamed Simakan, who tapped home from close range to give the home team the lead midway through the first half against a lackluster Dortmund. Late in the game, defender Willi Orban scored on the break to advance Leipzig to the semifinals for the fourth time in five years.

In what has grown into a fierce rivalry between the teams most likely to contend with Bayern Munich for major trophies in Germany, the two most recent Cup winners squared off. Both teams were aware that a victory would put them in the lead for the Cup after Bayern was eliminated by Freiburg on Tuesday.

Leipzig entered the game having lost four of their previous five games, but they displayed fluidity and intensity on offense, peppering a dazed Dortmund defense. After making a mistake that caused his team to lose to Bayern on Saturday, the opponent’s goalkeeper, Gregor Kobel, remained strong and made several daring saves in the opening minutes.

After 22 minutes, Leipzig finally took the lead deservedly, Simakan racing 50 meters to set up Werner for the former Chelsea striker’s sixth Cup goal. Edin Terzic’s offensive substitutions were numerous, but Dortmund’s front line lacked cohesion without injured striker Sebastien Haller.

Dortmund had the majority of the ball in the dying minutes and came close to scoring, but Leipzig sealed the victory with a second goal on the break from Orban when Kobel was shoved up. Dortmund has now dropped three of their last five games after starting 2023 with 10 straight victories in all competitions. Borussia Dortmund, which trails Bayern by two points in the league, will need to stop their downward trend against Union Berlin, who are currently in third place, on Saturday.

Stuttgart progress

Earlier on Wednesday, Stuttgart advanced to the round of 16 with a 1-0 victory at Nuremberg thanks to a late goal from Enzo Millot. After replacing the fired Bruno Labbadia, Millot capitalized on a Hiroki Ito ball as the game approached extra time and chipped home goalkeeper Peter Vindahl to give Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness a victory. Delays brought on by spectators entering the sold-out stadium forced the start of the game to be delayed by 30 minutes.

Nuremberg, the lone second-division team in the final eight, was attempting to restore some of its respect following a disappointing league campaign that left them struggling for survival. Stuttgart is in last place in the Bundesliga, and the first half was gloomy for both teams. Waldemar Anton, a defender for Stuttgart, nearly gave the visitors the lead early in the second half, but Vindahl stopped his header.

Less than ten seconds remained when Millot broke the tie. Stuttgart survived a final flurry of Nuremberg assaults to maintain their chances of winning the German Cup for a record fourth time. Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt are joined in the semifinals by Stuttgart and Leipzig.

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