The draw for December’s third round of the German Cup was made on Sunday evening, setting up the last 16 teams with their opponents on the road to the final in May, 2022 in Berlin.
For the second consecutive year, the Round of 16 is devoid of perennial contenders FC Bayern, who this time crashed out with a humiliating 5-0 loss at the hands of Joe Scally and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
For their remarkable victory, the Foals were rewarded with a trip to 2. Bundesliga club Hannover, where they will be considerable favorites against a team currently struggling in the bottom half of the standings one division below.
Chris Richards and Hoffenheim dominated their lower-league opponents Kiel in their second-round victory, forcing two own-goals on the way to a 5-1 win that put them through to the final 16. They have a tough road ahead, hosting SC Freiburg, who are currently undefeated and sitting third place in the Bundesliga standings.
Last year’s losing finalists RB Leipzig barely got the job done with a 1-0 squeaker at fourth-division team SV Babelsberg, with American midfielder Tyler Adams putting in a strong performance.
While such a narrow margin would hardly instill head coach Jesse Marsch and his squad with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, they can still consider themselves lucky after they drew a home match against recently-promoted 2. Bundesliga team Hansa Rostock.
Rostock, who beat division foes Jahn Regensburg on penalties, were helped along the way by American central defender Ryan Malone, who played the entire 120 minutes and buried one of his team’s penalties in the decisive shoot-out.
Finally, current Cup holders Borussia Dortmund will have to win on the road in order to reach the final eight, and face what will be a tricky trip to Hamburg to square off against St. Pauli, who are currently leading the 2. Bundesliga.
It is expected that Dortmund youngster Gio Reyna will be healthy again and back on the field by the time the two teams meet in January. Fellow American Lennard Maloney was on the team’s bench for their 2-0 home win over Ingolstadt in the second round, and could be a substitute option for head coach Marco Rose, as he has begun to become a regular on the first team’s bench and made his debut several weeks ago in league play.
The third-round games are all slated to take place on Jan. 18-19, 2022, with the exact dates and times yet to be announced.
German Cup round of 16 draw
1899 Hoffenheim (Chris Richards) – SC Freiburg
FC St. Pauli – Borussia Dortmund (Gio Reyna, Lennard Maloney)
Hannover 96 – Borussia Mönchengladbach (Joe Scally)
RB Leipzig (Tyler Adams) – Hansa Rostock (Ryan Malone)