DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, February 1, 2011
David Yelldell and Duisburg have been drawn to face fellow 2. Bundesliga team Energie Cottbus in the semifinal of the German Cup, with a potential Europa League spot awaiting the game's winner.
The Zebras entered the final four of Germany's cup competition by way of their convincing 2-0 shut-out win over top-flighters Kaiserslautern last week. The victory was their second straight in the competition over an opponent playing in the top division, leaving no question as to their credentials as worthy contenders to play at this deep stage of the competition.
The luck of the draw sees them pitted against Energie Cottbus who reached the semifinal by blanking three straight 1. Bundesliga opponents, which guarantees that the final will see a team from outside of the top flight for the first time since the 2004 edition.
German heavyweights Schalke and Bayern are due to battle it out on the other side of the bracket, with either team presenting a formidable task should Duisburg find their way past their eastern German opponents.
The winner between Duisburg and Cottbus also stand a decent chance of gaining admission into the 2011-12 UEFA Europa league regardless of the outcome in the final, putting added significance on this semifinal matchup.
With Bayern currently streaking up the standings towards what looks to be a likely spot in the Champions League, should they also win the German Cup for the second year running the competition's guaranteed place in the playoff round of Europa League qualification will revert to the runner up of the final.
Duisburg and Cottbus will play on March 1, and the winner will find out their opponent for May 21 final in Berlin's Olympic Stadium one night later when Bayern host Schalke in the Allianz Arena.
DFB Cup semifinal draw
MSV Duisburg - Energie Cottbus
FC Bayern - FC Schalke 04