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Leipzig (Germany) (AFP) – The German cup winners RB Leipzig qualified for the round of 16 with a 4-0 home win against Hamburg.
Leipzig, who last year won a title in this competition for the first time, scored two quick goals from Denmark international Yussuf Poulsen in the 33rd and 36th minutes to lead the home side 2-0 at half-time.
Poulsen looked set for a hat-trick early in the second half but was thwarted by excellent anticipation from Hamburg goalkeeper Heuer Fernandes.
All hopes of a comeback for the three-time cup winner and former heavyweight of German football were dashed by French defender Mohamed Simikan, who struck a free-kick from Emil Forsberg to give the Red Bulls a 3-0 win.
German defender Benjamin Henrichs added a fourth in the 82nd minute to keep Leipzig on course for their fourth final in five years.
After the game, Poulsen said he “promised (my team-mates) that I would score at least one goal – unfortunately I didn’t think of putting any money on it.”
Poulsen’s manager Marco Rose said the win showed “the character of the team” after a strong opening period from Hamburg.
“The first goal was important for us. We stayed in it and showed that we really want to get through (in the competition).”
On Tuesday, Borussia Mönchengladbach lost 2-1 at second division Darmstadt.
Gladbach, who had defeated Bayern Munich in a surprise 5-0 win at that point last season, went down 1-0 after 23 minutes through Philip Tietz before clinching their own goal just two minutes into the second half by Luca hit back net.
Darmstadt, currently leaders in the second division rankings, scored the winning goal in the 79th minute through Aaron Seydel.
Elsewhere, two early goals from Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and 2018 Hrvoje Smolcic helped the 2018 Cup winners to a 2-0 win over fifth division side Stuttgarter Kickers.
Hoffenheim put more pressure on Schalke coach Frank Kramer, who was under pressure, with a 5-1 home win.
Niko Kovacs Wolfsburg beat neighbors Braunschweig 2-1, while Bochum – bottom of the Bundesliga table – beat third-tier club Evelsberg 1-0 thanks to an 85th-minute goal from Anthony Losilla.
Mainz won comfortably 3-0 away in Lübeck, while four-time winners Nuremberg won thanks to a Gerrit Gohlke own goal in the 62nd minute at third division Waldhof Mannheim.
On Thursday, Hannover host the pressured Borussia Dortmund while Bayern Munich take on neighbors Augsburg.
© 2022 AFP