SAARBRUECKEN, Germany: Borussia Dortmund are out of the German Cup after losing 2-0 to Stuttgart on Wednesday as third-tier Saarbruecken knocked out Eintracht Frankfurt.
The draw is wide open after the latest setback for Dortmund, who have been impressive in the Champions League this season but underwhelming in Germany, and Saarbruecken’s back-to-back upsets after ousting Bayern Munich in the previous round.
There will be just three top-tier clubs among the eight in the quarterfinals — Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart and Borussia Moenchengladbach — and no team which has won the competition in the last 25 years.
Enzo Millot assisted Serhou Guirassy for Stuttgart’s opening goal in the 54th minute as the Guinea striker slipped between two defenders to score his 18th goal of the season. Maximilian Mittelstadt set up the second for substitute Silas in the 77th.
The result widens the gulf between Dortmund’s domestic and European form. Edin Terzic’s team leads a Champions League group also containing Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle. Its form in German league and cup games in recent weeks has been a concern, with five points from its last five games — including a 2-1 loss to Stuttgart last month — and now the cup exit.
For Stuttgart, the win is the latest success of an impressive season, with the club also third in the Bundesliga.
Third-division Saarbruecken’s dream run continued with a 2-0 win over last season’s cup runner-up Frankfurt.
Saarbruecken had an opening goal ruled out in the 20th minute when Kai Brünker headed in at a corner but video review spotted a push by one of his teammates.
Even after that reprieve, Frankfurt struggled to get into the game and Brünker finally scored a goal that counted in the 64th when the defense left him in space.
More poor Frankfurt defending in the 78th allowed Luca Kerber to score Saarbruecken’s second goal, and things got even worse soon after for the visiting team with a straight red card for Noel Futkeu. The striker had only come off the Frankfurt bench six minutes earlier in his first-team debut but aimed a kick at an opponent with the ball nowhere near.
It was Frankfurt’s fourth consecutive loss in all competitions after having lost just twice all season before that.
It’s far from the first cup surprise for Saarbruecken, who knocked out German champion Bayern in the second round in October. Saarbruecken also stunned Germany by reaching the semifinals in 2019-20 despite being in the fourth tier at the time. It didn’t qualify for the German Cup again until this season.
League leader Bayer Leverkusen eased to a 3-1 win over second-division Paderborn to extend its unbeaten season to 21 games in all competitions. Xabi Alonso’s team was left with concerns over an injury to key attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz.
Victor Boniface, Exequiel Palacios and Patrik Schick all scored, while two more Leverkusen goals were ruled out for offside on video review. Sebastian Klaas scored for Paderborn.
Wirtz limped off shortly before halftime after what the team described as a “painful blow to his ankle.”