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Bundesliga strugglers Mainz out of German Cup

Berlin (AFP) – Crisis-hit Bundesliga club Mainz crashed out on penalties to second division side Bochum in the second round of the German Cup on Wednesday after Robert Tesche scored a dramatic, stoppage-time equaliser for the underdogs. 

Jean-Paul Boetius and Danny Latza gave Mainz a comfortable 2-0 lead, but Bochum fought back through Gerrit Holtmann and a stoppage-time equaliser from Robert Tesche.

Despite having goalkeeper Manuel Riemann sent off in stoppage time, the underdogs triumphed 3-0 in the penalty shootout after Mainz missed all their penalties. 

Defeat crowned a miserable Christmas week for Mainz, who sit second from bottom in the league and parted ways with sporting director Rouwen Schroeder on Tuesday. 

Elsewhere, Dutch striker Wout Weghorst scored twice as Wolfsburg thrashed second-tier minnows Sandhausen 4-0 in the second round of the German Cup Wednesday, despite losing numerous players to Covid-19 in recent days.

With four players having tested positive for coronavirus in the last week and another three self-isolating, Wolfsburg were forced to list two reserve goalkeepers, Lino Kasten and Niklas Klinger, as outfield substitutes.

Yet the top-flight side cruised to victory thanks to goals from Yannick Gerhardt, Joao Victor and Weghorst, who has now scored 11 goals in his last 11 games.

“My players showed from the first minute that they weren’t going to worry about the difficult conditions and the absentees,” said Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner.

In Wednesday’s other games, first-half goal from Sasa Kalajdzic saw Stuttgart to a 1-0 win over south-western neighbours Freiburg, while Werder Bremen waltzed to a 3-0 win over Hanover. 

In-form Rot-Weiss Essen are the last fourth-tier side left in the draw after they stunned second-division local rivals Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2.

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