Bayern Munich progress to German Cup quarter-finals

Reuters, BERLIN

Thu, Dec 20, 2012 - Page 19

Ten-man Bayern Munich moved into the German Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory at Augsburg on Tuesday to end the year on a high, but they had Franck Ribery sent off early in the second half for slapping an opponent.

Fellow Champions League competitors Schalke 04 slumped out of the competition, suffering a 2-1 defeat by visiting FSV Mainz 05, and Bundesliga side Fortuna Duesseldorf were stunned 2-0 by third-tier Kickers Offenbach.

Bayern, who also lead the Bundesliga at the start of the winter break, grabbed the lead against the run of play with striker Mario Gomez tapping in from close range.

However, things took a turn for the worse at the start of the second half when Ribery slapped South Korea’s Koo Ja-cheol and received a straight red card.

In an entertaining second half both sides missed several good chances, with Mario Mandzukic, who has failed to score since the return of Gomez in November, twice coming close for Bayern.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who had earlier hit the crossbar, settled the visitors’ nerves five minutes from time, slotting in after good play from Mandzukic and Thomas Mueller.

With new Schalke coach Jens Keller, who replaced Huub Stevens on Sunday, making his debut, the hosts showed few signs of recovery after losing four and winning none of their last six league games.

Schalke, who topped their Champions League group to book a spot in the next round of Europe’s premier competition, allowed the visitors to take a 30th-minute lead when Marco Caligiuri drilled in from 16m.

After a string of missed chances, Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar drew them level, but their joy was short-lived as Nicolai Mueller controlled a Jan Kirchhoff cross to fire in the winner seven minutes from time.

Schalke’s Christian Fuchs rattled the bar late in the game, but could not prevent last year’s Cup winners’ exit and their sixth straight game in all competitions without a win.

“The team was insecure in the first half and you could see it,” Keller said. “I liked how we played in the second, but still we are hugely disappointed.”

SC Freiburg also advanced with a 1-0 victory over third-tier Karlsruhe SC, but the shock of the night was Kickers Offenbach’s surprise 2-0 victory over Fortuna Duesseldorf.