SV Werder Bremen were the only top-flight casualties in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on Sunday as they were knocked out by third-division Sportfreunde Lotte.
Bremen reached the semi-finals last season, losing out to eventual winners FC Bayern München, but their cup adventure ended in round one this time with Zlatko Junuzovic’s goal not enough to prevent Viktor Skripnik’s men from going down to a 2-1 defeat.
There were scares for 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Eintracht Frankfurt, who also went close to falling at the first hurdle, both needing a penalty shoot-out to beat SpVgg Unterhaching and Magdeburg respectively.
Goals from Jhon Cordoba, Fabian Frei and Yunus Malli had given Mainz a 3-1 lead with just two minutes on the clock, but their Munich-based hosts rallied to force extra-time with the last kick of the game, their goalkeeper providing the assist in the opposite penalty area.
Giulio Donati was sent off in extra-time, but Mainz made no mistakes from the spot with two misses for Unterhaching seeing their resistance broken.
Branimir Hrgota gave Frankfurt an early lead in their game at Magdeburg, but a late equaliser meant they had to go through the agony of penalties.
Makoto Hasebe and Omar Mascarell both missed their spot-kicks, but fortunately for Niko Kovac’s Eagles, their hosts missed one more to go out.
Penalties were also needed for Hertha Berlin and FC Ingolstadt 04 to progress in the two evening fixtures.
Hertha came from behind to force extra-time with Mitchell Weiser’s 88th-minute header against Regensburg, and it was Salomon Kalou who converted the decisive spot-kick for the Old Lady.
Ingolstadt could not find a goal in 120 minutes at Erzgebirge Aue, and 15 penalties were needed to separate the two teams with Tobias Levels getting the decisive one for the Bavarians.
Hoffenheim eased past Germania Egestorf/Langreder with Mark Uth even missing a penalty in a 6-0 win.
Andrej Kramaric hit a hat-trick with Uth finding the back of the net from open play and Sebastian Rudy and summer signing Sandro Wagner completing the victory.
Bayer Leverkusen were made to work hard in beating Hauenstein 2-1, with Javier Hernandez and Karim Bellarabi on target for Roger Schmidt’s men.
Meanwhile, Darmstadt beat Bremer SV 7-0 with Antonio Colak (three), Marcel Heller, Jerome Gondorf, Sven Schipplock and an own goal supplying their goals, although the win was overshadowed by an injury to Aytac Sulu which makes him a doubt for the start of the Bundesliga season next weekend.
Borussia Dortmund bring the first round of the cup to a close on Monday night when they head to Eintracht Trier, while Hamburg are also in action on Monday evening.
Press Association Sport