RECAP: GERMAN CUP ACTION
Michael Bradley and the Foals were victorious in a nail-biting penalty shootout against Leverkusen while Schalke's win over FSV Frankfurt was tainted by an ankle injury for Jermaine Jones.
FSV Frankfurt 0 - 1 FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones was forced out of Schalke's tight win over FSV Frankfurt with an ankle injury, however the team nevertheless advanced to the third round of the DFB Cup thank to an early goal by Manuel Jurado.
On their second trip to Germany's financial capital within three days, Schalke grabbed the lead and ultimately secured the win before the crowd had even had the chance to settle into the game.
Spanish midfielder Jurado received the ball near the midfield stripe and quickly worked his way towards FSV's goal before launching a 32-yard shot just inside the upper left corner that left the opposing keeper and home fans stunned in the 12th minute.
Frankfurt put up a valiant fight, playing the role of aggressor for much of the game in hopes of pulling even and giving a chance of a major upset, however Felix Magath's defending corps held strong throughout, frustrating their opponents with tight play in the back.
Jones went down with an apparent ankle injury - confirmed by the team afterwards as suspected ligament damage - in the 77th minute, however the loss was of little consequence to the team as they had no problems to hold their lead to the final whistle.
The win sends Schalke through to late-December's third round, however in the meantime they must try to fix their still-broken league campaign, beginning with Sunday's game at home against Bayer Leverkusen.
Energie Cottbus 2 - 1 SC Freiburg
Daniel Williams got a rare start in defensive midfield for Freiburg on Wednesday, but only saw the first half of action as their rally fell short in the final minutes on their visit to Energie Cottbus.
Freiburg opened the door to their hosts to take the lead late in the first half, as midfielder Felix Bastians was guilty of handling the ball in the area, allowing Marc Andre Kruska to beat keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum with the resulting spot kick.
Williams was pulled after one half of play by Freiburg coach Robin Dutt in favor of Belarusian midfielder Anton Putsila as part of a halftime double-switch, and the move eventually paid off as the visitors equalized in the 67th minute.
Bastians made up for his earlier mistake by feeding Papiss-Demba Cissé from the left flank, and the Senegalese was pleased to quickly take his shot from 11 yards to beat Cottbus keeper Oliver Baumann.
The night would belong to the 2. Bundesliga hosts, as a Cottbus corner allowed Jules Reimerink to send a cross across goal which Emil Jula easily headed into goal securing the win for the jubilant home crowd.
Freiburg will now focus solely on their still impressive league campaign, which sees them sitting seventh in the standings, however facing a daunting test when they visit FC Bayern on Friday night.
Hallescher FC 0 - 3 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell was his usual rock in goal for Duisburg, helping them to maintain a shut-out while putting three past their fourth-division opponents as they easily beat Hallescher FC on Wednesday.
Previous and persistent crowd troubles involving the hosts had tipped the DFB's hand in moving the match from Halle's home stadium to the nearby Red Bull Arena in neighboring city Leipzig for the second straight game in the cup.
The game had barely begun before the crowd of just over 4600 when Duisburg showed their strength with Stefan Maierhofer hitting a beauty of a free kick from 28 yards out just inside the lower left corner of goal in the seventh minute.
Duisburg were given the chance to double their lead at the half-hour mark when a handball by Halle player Benjamin Boltze allowed Maierhofer to step up to the spot for a penalty, however Darko Horvat gave the home crowd one of their few moments of hope for the 90 minutes of regulation.
This hope was crushed just minutes later, as Maierhofer succeeded to head in a fine cross by Oliver Veigneau from the left, giving them the 2-0 lead after 33 minutes.
The hosts kept Duisburg from doing any further damage until the final minutes, when Maierhofer played provider, setting up teammate Ivica Grlic for a low blast from 22 yards out with five minutes left in the game.
Duisburg await the result of Saturday evening's draw to find out their third-round opponent, and will continue their run at promotion to the Bundesliga on Monday when they visit relegation-threatened Düsseldorf.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen (pen: 5-4)
Michael Bradley played a grueling 120 minutes for Borussia Mönchengladbach, helping the team battle to a scoreless draw after 90 minutes with visiting Leverkusen, and ultimately battle through overtime which saw each time net once, to ultimately come away victorious in a thrilling penalty shootout.
A strong defensive performance from both teams left the only true moment of excitement during regulation when Foals captain Filip Daems brought Patrick Helmes down in the penalty area just past the hour mark.
The German international was wasteful when taking the spot kick himself, however, sending his shot past goal to keep the game scoreless through the end of regulation.
Leverkusen looked to have finally grabbed the victory in the 107th minute when Nicolai Jörgensen sent a pass to the middle of the area to the awaiting Eren Eerdiyok, who hit his 11-yard shot between the legs of keeper Christofer Heimeroth for the late lead.
This only held for two minutes, though, as the visitors let their guard down as Mohamadou Idrissou was allowed to slip free by defender Manuel Friedrich to send his left-footed shot into the net.
Neither team was able to gain the advantage in the final ten minutes of overtime, with the game finally going to the dreaded penalty shootout.
Both teams sank their first two attempts until Heimeroth made the deciding save on Patrick Helmes giving the Foals the upper hand. Bradley successfully shot the fourth for his team, with Daems finally sending the hosts over the top, setting them up for their first berth in the third round since the 2003-04 edition.
Bradley and his teammates will now focus on trying to escape the Bundesliga's relegation zone when they visit 15th-place Kaiserslautern on Saturday afternoon.
Alfredo Morales suited up for Hertha's first team for the first time, however was an unused substitute in their 2-1 loss at 3. Liga team TuS Koblenz on Tuesday.
Kenny Cooper is still working his way back to full fitness and was not included in 1860's squad on Tuesday for their 3-0 loss at Cologne.
Ricardo Clark was not a member of Eintracht Frankfurt's squad on Wednesday for their wild 5-2 win at home over Hamburger SV.
Amaechi Igwe is still recovering from injury and did not factor in for Ingolstadt's 1-0 loss at Hoffenheim on Wednesday.