RECAP: MIDWEEK GERMAN ACTION
Matt Taylor added yet another goal to his tally in a losing effort against Werder Bremen II while David Yelldell and Duisburg shut out Kaiserslautern to cruise to the German Cup semifinal.
MSV Duisburg 2 - 0 FC Kaiserslautern
A strong defensive performance by Duisburg anchored by American keeper David Yelldell in the team's shut-out victory over Kaiserslautern pushed the team through to the German Cup semifinal.
Finally besting the team which had given him the axe just under two years before, Duisburg coach Milan Sasic saw his Zebras squad make a strong case that they are ready for top-flight competition with a convincing win over a team currently playing at Germany's highest level.
Both teams were coming off of disappointing weekend results - Duisburg having drawn relegation-threatened Ingolstadt and Kaiserslautern suffering a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern - but the hosts were clearly the more ready of the two as the game got underway.
A piece of poor goalkeeping by 'Slautern netminder Tobias Sippel in the 36th minute allowed Duisburg to surge ahead. Sippel attempted to punch Benjamin Kern's corner clear of the danger area but managed to weakly pop it up to the edge of the six-yard box. Zebras forward Stefan Maierhofer headed the ball to Branimir Bajik who was free on the left side goal, and the Bosnian international made no mistake to poke the ball into the open net.
Another set piece from Kern led to Duisburg's second goal two minutes before the hour mark, as his long free kick from the left was headed in by Goran Sukalo from six yards out to secure the win.
The Zebras join fellow 2. Bundesliga team Energie Cottbus in the final four of the competition along with top tier heavyweights Schalke and FC Bayern. They will find out their opponents for the early-March semifinal round in Sunday's draw, but must first turn their attention towards Saturday's league contest at 1860 Munich.
FC Schalke 04 3 - 2 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler was an 88th minute substitute and played the duration of extra time for Nürnberg on Tuesday in their DFB Cup quarterfinal match at Schalke, however the night would belong to the hosts thanks to a spectacular 119th-minute strike by 17 year-old phenom Julian Draxler.
Nürnberg silenced the home crowd in the fourth minute when Mehmet Ekici's short pass from the left edge of the area was redirected just inside the near post by Julian Schieber.
Schalke equalized ten minutes later on the counter, as Christian Pander completed a run on the left with a sharp low cross from just outside the left side of the penalty area which Swiss starlet Mario Gavranovic one-timed past the reach of Nürnberg keeper Raphael Schäfer.
The visitors deservedly retook the lead two minutes past the half-hour with a goal nearly identical to their first in execution, this time with Christian Eigler feeding Schieber for a blast from the same spot as his first earlier in the game.
Knowing that their only path to European competition next season could be through an appearance in the Cup final, Schalke fought hard to equalized and brought the game back onto even terms in the 58th minute when Ivan Rakitic was on target with his blast from the top edge of the area.
With the game inevitably headed for 30 minutes of overtime, German-American youngster Timothy Chandler entered the game in the 88th minute as a pair of fresh legs for the final 30 minute run.
The game was, however, ultimately decided one minute before a looming penalty shootout by the brilliance of a youngster on the opposite side of the ball, as 116th-minute sub Julian Draxler received the ball 30 yards out and worked his way to the top edge of the area before launching a spectacular shot that flew just off the fingertips of Schäfer and into the net, putting Schalke through to the semifinal.
Nürnberg will try to get over the heartbreaking loss in time for Saturday's home encounter with surging Hamburger SV, winners of their last three games.
Werder Bremen II 3 - 1 Rot Weiss Ahlen
A 45th-minute strike brought Matt Taylor's goal total at Ahlen to nine through 13 games, however it was only a small consolation as a trio of goals allowed by a careless defense saw them fall to Werder Bremen II on Tuesday evening.
Bremen's Felix Kroos put the hosts ahead in the 37th minute from the spot after teammate Onur Ayik was tripped up in the area by Ahlen defender André Maczkowiak.
Taylor made sure that the teams would go into the halftime pause on even terms with his ninth goal of the campaign, as he found himself free with the ball in front of goal and made no mistake with his 16-yard shot in the 45th minute.
The scoreline stood for much of the second half, until Sandro Wagner gave Bremen the lead once again in the 80th minute off of a corner from Florian Trinks, then Pascal Testroet put it out of reach with one minute left when he rounded Maczkowiak and put the ball over the line for the final 3-1.
Ahlen drop to 11th after the loss and will have a short four-day break until they host Bavarian team Unterhaching on Saturday afternoon.