Two defensive slip-ups handed Union Berlin a spot in the semifinals of the German Cup for the first time in 21 years with a 2-1 win over second-division St. Pauli on Tuesday.
St. Pauli took the lead in the 21st minute with a smart free-kick routine when Marcel Hartel laid the ball off for Daniel-Kofi Kyereh to hit a low shot past the wall and into the bottom-right corner. St. Pauli showed resilience in its biggest cup game for 16 years but couldn't hold on as Union reached the semifinals for the first time since it was the cup runner-up in 2001.
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Goalkeeper Dennis Smarsch lost his balance as he rushed out to face Taiwo Awoniyi one-on-one, and that hesitation meant he could only parry Awoniyi's shot into the path of Union striker Sheraldo Becker, who scored into the empty net just before half-time.
A hopeful long pass brought Union the winner as St. Pauli defender Jakov Medic reached the ball first but slipped under pressure from substitute Andreas Voglsammer, who gratefully collected the loose ball and shot past Smarsch. Voglsammer hit the post in stoppage time as he looked to kill off the game with only the goalkeeper to beat.
With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both having been knocked out in the early rounds, this year's German Cup offers a chance for smaller clubs to win a trophy. Leipzig is in action on Wednesday in its quarterfinal game against Hannover, while Freiburg visits Bochum and Hamburg plays Karlsruhe.
- Union Berlin 2 (Becker 45’, Voglsammer 75’) FC St Pauli 1 (Kyereh 21’)
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