Borussia Dortmund needed a penalty shootout to overcome Hertha Berlin and reach the German Cup quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive year on Wednesday.
Dortmund sealed a 3-2 victory on penalties when Hertha’s Salomon Kalou sent his spot kick over the bar, after Fabian Lustenberger’s first effort struck the crossbar and then Dortmund ‘keeper Roman Buerki saved Vladimir Darida’s penalty.
Christian Pulisic missed for Dortmund, but Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gonzalo Castro all converted after the game finished 1-1 following extra time.
“We were missing the punch to decide the game,” Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said.
Dortmund was later drawn to play at third-division Sportfreunde Lotte, which is making its first quarterfinal appearance after a series of upsets.
Defending champion Bayern Munich will face Schalke at home, while Eintracht Frankfurt hosts second-division Arminia Bielefeld and Hamburger SV welcomes Borussia Moenchengladbach. The games are scheduled for February 28 and March 1.
Kalou had put Hertha in front inside the first half hour of normal time with the visitors’ third big chance, stretching to volley Niklas Stark’s cross past the helpless Buerki.
Dortmund leveled after the break when Dembele hit the post, then gathered the rebound and passed to Pulisic, a halftime substitute, who in turn found the better-placed Marco Reus to score.
Aubameyang thought he’d put Dortmund in front but the goal was ruled out as Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein already had a hand to the ball.
Dembele came closest with less than 10 minutes remaining when his effort flew just wide of the far post.
Tuchel brought on Andre Schuerrle for extra time – his fourth substitute allowed according to a new rule from the third round onward – but the trend continued with Hertha defending well.
Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off before the end of extra time with his second yellow card for persistent complaining about his first card, also given for complaining.
Dortmund is bidding to reach its fourth successive final.
HANNOVER 1, EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 2
Lukas Hradecky saved a penalty from Salif Sane in the sixth minute of injury time to safeguard Frankfurt’s win in a tetchy encounter at second-division Hannover.
The home fans were celebrating when Omar Mascarell conceded the spot kick in the 95th minute but Hradecky guessed the right way and secured the visitors’ progress.
Martin Harnik put Hannover ahead after the break but Timothy Chandler crossed for Taleb Tawatha to equalize and Haris Seferovic capitalized on a mistake by Edgar Prib to score what proved to be the winner four minutes later.
SV SANDHAUSEN 1, SCHALKE 4
Three goals in an eight-minute spell from Alessandro Schoepf, new signing Daniel Caligiuri and Brazilian defender Naldo at the end of the first half set Schalke on its way to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.
Andrew Wooten pulled one back midway through the second half but Schalke substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka sealed the win five minutes later.
Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar also came on with four minutes remaining, returning after more than three months out with a right knee injury.
SPORTFREUNDE LOTTE 2, 1860 MUNICH 0
Lotte, which saw off Werder Bremen and then Bayer Leverkusen in the previous rounds, reached the quarterfinals for the first time after yet another upset.
Goals in each half from Jaroslaw Lindner and Kevin Freiberger gave the third-division side a well-deserved home win over second-division 1860.
“The lads have to enjoy the party now,” Lotte coach Ismail Atalan said. “Ninety or 95 percent of the players won’t experience another day like it.”