Mainz upset Stuttgart in German Cup
Berlin, Dec 20 (IANS) Mainz came from behind to eliminate Stuttgart 3-1 to advance into the German Cup quarter-finals.
Mainz booked their ticket for the next round after bouncing back from one goal down on Tuesday. Stuttgart grabbed the lead in the first half before three second-half goals from Mainz sealed the deal, reports Xinhua news agency.
The "Nullfuenfer" ensured a bright start into the clash as former Stuttgart player Alexandru Maxim came close twice in the opening period.
Gerrit Holtmann worked out the best chance for the hosts to open the scoring but the defender failed to overcome Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with 18 minutes played.
Mainz remained on the front foot but it were the visitors, who staged a clinical chance conversion as Christian Gentner broke the deadlock against the run of the play following an assist from Akolo Chadrac in the 41st minute.
After the restart, Stuttgart had the golden chance to double the lead as Mainz' Robin Quaison was penalized for a handball inside the box. Dennis Aogo stepped up but Mainz custodian Robin Zentner defused the shot from the spot in the 54th minute.
Mainz punished Stuttgart's wastefulness eight minutes later when substitute Emil Berggreen deflected a corner kick from Daniel Brosinki to restore parity.
The hosts gained momentum and turned the tide as Abdou Diallo slammed home a free kick after Stuttgart were unable to clear the ball from the area 71 minutes into the game.
However, Mainz were not done with the scoring and added another goal to their lead when Suat Serder finished off a counter attack to put the result beyond doubt in the dying seconds of the game.
The following fixtures complete the round of the last 16. Bremen host Freiburg, Monchengladbach see Bayer leverkusen, Bayern Munich encounter titleholders Borussia Dortmund and Heidenheim take on Eintracht Frankfurt.
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