Duesseldorf defeat St Pauli on penalties to make German Cup semis

Fortuna Duesseldorf won on penalties after a dramatic German Cup quarter-final at St Pauli on Tuesday, to make the final four.

The visitors led twice but were pegged back by the home side, with St Pauli’s Carlo Boukhalfa scoring in the 121st minute to send the match between second division opponents to spot kicks.

Pauli midfielder Marcel Hartel, who had converted a penalty during the match, missed,was allowed to take it again after goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier advanced off his line and missed again.

Duesseldorf’s Christos Tzolis then produced a cheeky panenka to send the two-time Cup holders to the semis and consign St Pauli to their first loss in any competition since April.

Duesseldorf coach Daniel Thioune told Sky Germany “incredible, unbelievable… If you concede after 120 minutes, you normally lose in the penalty shootout.”

Thioune however saved some criticism for Tzolis’ risky match-winning penalty.

“I don’t like it, he shouldn’t have shot it like that, even if he ended up scoring,” he said.

Sascha Burchert gave away a penalty after 38 minutes which Fortuna striker Vincent Vermeij converted.

St Pauli won a spot kick of their own midway through the second-half which Hartel converted In extra time, Burchert’s howler and Ao Tanaka’s quick reaction seemed to have sealed the match, but Boukhalfa lept high to head in the equaliser.

Duesseldorf held their nerve in the shootout, to take revenge for a 2-1 loss to Pauli in the German second-division on Saturday.

With Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and holders RB Leipzig eliminated, just three of the eight quarter finalist sare in the German top division.

On Wednesday, Hertha Berlin host Kaiserslautern in another all second-division clash.

Next week, Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen host Stuttgart while third-division Saarbruecken, who have already claimed the scalps of Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt, host Borussia Moenchengladbach. BSS

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