German Cup roundup: 3rd-tier Saarbrucken shock Frankfurt, Dortmund out
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Stuttgart won 2-0 at home to boot Borussia Dortmund out of the German Cup last 16 on Wednesday, as third-tier Saarbrucken, who previously eliminated Bayern Munich, knocked out Eintracht Frankfurt.
Alongside Bayern, Dortmund and Frankfurt, holders RB Leipzig are also out, with only three of the remaining eight teams playing top-division football.
"We have to be honest, it was a footballing catastrophe," said Dortmund captain Emre Can.
"We are Dortmund, there has to be more. It can't go on like this. We need to have some serious discussions."
Dortmund, beaten 2-1 by Stuttgart at the same venue in November, were outclassed by a dominant home side who won thanks to second-half goals from Serhou Guirassy and Silas.
Guirassy now has 18 goals in 13 games in all competitions this season.
English teenager Jamie Bynoe-Gittens had the ball in the net for Dortmund shortly after Guirassy's goal, but the effort was ruled out by VAR for offside.
With Dortmund pushing for an equaliser, Stuttgart striker Silas carved through some sleepy defending to score a second and seal his side's progress to the quarter-finals.
Winners in 2021, Dortmund have now been eliminated in the last 16 in five of the past seven years.
Stuttgart's win came shortly after five-time German Cup winners Frankfurt lost 2-0 away at Saarbrucken, conceding second-half goals to Kai Brunker and Luca Kerber.
A "mega proud" Saarbrucken coach Rudiger Ziehl said "that's just crazy," while Brunker told Sky Germany "tonight I'll enjoy a beer and we'll celebrate like beasts."
Frankfurt debutant Noel Futku was sent off late on for lashing out at defender Marcel Gaus just six minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Saarbrucken, who are 11th in the third division, beat Bayern 2-1 at home in the second round last month.
In the German capital, Hertha Berlin beat Hamburg on penalties to reach the last eight.
Hertha's Fabian Reese scored the opener and then found the net again in the 90th minute to send the match to extra time, after Hamburg's Immanuel Pherai and Laszlo Benes had given the visitors a first-half lead.
Hertha academy product Ransford Konigsdorffer scored for Hamburg and English defender Jonjoe Kenny struck late for the hosts to send the match to penalties.
Konigsdorffer had his spot-kick saved and Reese scored immediately afterwards to secure victory.
Hertha join Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals after the Bundesliga leaders won 3-1 at home over second-tier Paderborn.
Despite having two goals ruled out for offside, Leverkusen eased past Paderborn thanks to strikes from Victor Boniface, Exequiel Palacios and Patrik Schick. Sebastian Klaas pulled one back late for the visitors.
Fortuna Dusseldorf, Borussia Monchengladbach, St. Pauli and Kaiserslautern all reached the last eight on Tuesday.