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Holders Leipzig knocked out of German Cup on night of shocks

BERLIN (AFP) – Wolfsburg produced the first shock of this season’s German Cup, knocking out holders RB Leipzig with an inspired 1-0 win as fourth-tier Homburg upset Greuther Fuerth and Kaiserslautern sank Cologne.

Wolfsburg, coached by Niko Kovac, who guided Eintracht Frankfurt to glory in this competition in 2018, took an early lead through Vaclav Cerny – and Leipzig never recovered.

The Red Bull outfit have a rich recent pedigree in the competition, reaching the previous three finals, losing in 2021 to Borussia Dortmund first but winning the last two against Freiburg and Frankfurt.

However, Wolfsburg have not made it beyond the quarter-finals since lifting the trophy in 2015.

But on home turf, Kovac’s side put their Bundesliga troubles behind them and pulled off their biggest victory of the season.

Despite going into this game having lost four of their last five league games, Wolfsburg flew out of the blocks.

Summer signing Cerny latched onto a perfectly-weighted pass by Tiago Tomas and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed drive into the roof of the net for his first goal of the season.

In another surprise result, Greuther Fuerth of Germany’s second division were beaten 2-1 at home by fourth tier Homburg.

Bundesliga strugglers Cologne were sent packing by second-tier Kaiserslautern, whose slick performance put them 3-0 up after 65 minutes and seemingly out of sight. Cologne clawed it back to 3-2 but it was too little too late, ending the game with nine men after Eric Martel and captain Florian Kainz were sent off within the space of five second half minutes.

Wolfsburg’s Sebastiaan Bornauw and Leipzig’s Xavi Simons vie for the ball. PHOTO: AFP