Freiburg, Wolfsburg reach German Cup semifinals
Berlin, Feb 27 : Freiburg progressed into the DFB Pokal semifinals for the first time in the club's history after a dramatic 3-2 comeback win at Mainz while Wolfsburg overcame third division side Offenbach 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Daniel Caliguri's winner in extra time eliminated 10-men Mainz from DFB Pokal quarterfinals. Mainz flabbergasted the visitors with a quickfire of two goals within two minutes. Freiburg responded with two goals in the dying minutes of the match as Mainz tried to kill the clock. Yet, Caligiuri scored the winner to seal his brace and semifinals for Freiburg, reports Xinhua.
Mainz stunned with an early start when Shawn Parker made use of Chinedu Ede's assist to beat Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann in the second minute. Mainz did not let pass an opportunity as Niki Zimling doubled the lead into the bottom left only two minutes later.
Things changed in the second half when Mainz's Zedenek Pospech was sent off for his second bookable offence (65th minute). From there on the hosts focused on counter attacks to kill the clock.
Freiburg pressed Mainz into defence and their efforts were rewarded as substitute Ivan Santini reduced the lead to 2-1 when he scored from close range (86th) to spark new hope for the visitors.
It was a dramatic closing period as Freiburg wasted a bunch of scoring opportunities before Mainz Radoslav Zabavnik brought down Santini inside the box to cause a penalty for the visitors at injury time. Caligiuri stepped up and converted into the bottom left to force Mainz into the extra time.
The equaliser took the wind out of Mainz as they were unable to deny the winner by Caliguiri, who utilised a low cross at the far post in the 108th minute.
Elsewhere, Wolfsburg knocked out third division team Offenbach following a hard earned 2-1 victory.
Wolfsburg needed 49 minutes to break the deadlock against after Ivica Olic netted a cross by Makoto Hasebe. Dutchman Bas Dost doubled the lead for Wolfsburg in the 71st minute as Offenbach was only able to score their consolation with nine minutes remaining through Marcel Stadel.