There is more tinsel in the cup, and that can also apply to a quarter-final. The turf glittered yellow, red and blue on Tuesday evening in St. Pauli's Millerntor Stadium, with plenty of snippets fluttering from the stadium roof before kick-off. It was an appropriate setting for this duel between the second division teams – after all, it was clear that something would happen that evening in Hamburg that both teams had not experienced for a long time. In the end, Fortuna Düsseldorf made it to the semi-finals of the DFB Cup for the first time in 28 years. After penalty shootout.
It was a game that had little to do with tinsel football for a long time, but that's not the business of second division teams. Few chances, many duels and a dramatic final point later, it was the Düsseldorf team who marched through the foreign arena rejoicing after their final 4-3 penalty shootout. It wasn't until extra time that a more offensive game was achieved; St. Pauli was able to get out of a deficit twice in the game. In the penalty shootout, Düsseldorf goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier ultimately made the decision with his saves.
The game only got something like a spice after 38 minutes, thanks to Düsseldorf's Vincent Vermeij: He ran unchallenged towards Sascha Burchert's penalty area and the Hamburg goalkeeper took the attacker off his feet. However, a penalty was only given after a check by the video assistant, and an offside that had previously been incorrectly detected was overturned. Vermeij took the penalty himself, goalkeeper Burchert chose the right corner – but had to admit defeat to the Düsseldorfer's precise shot.
St. Pauli won the league on Saturday
The last meeting between the two teams was only three days ago; last Saturday, St. Pauli beat Düsseldorf away 2-1. But the core business of football is to keep the tension high for everyone involved, or at least to act as if everything could turn out completely differently three days later. That's how it happened. But even before the stadium could burst into exuberant emotions for the first time, Emmanuel Iyoha had to be replaced (12th minute), which dampened Fortuna's state of mind: she was already plagued by injuries, and several top performers were missing, coach Daniel Thioune.
League leaders St. Pauli, still unbeaten in the league, took a more leisurely approach to attack. Understandably: On Saturday, coach Fabian Hürzeler's players ran 134.04 kilometers, which, according to resourceful statisticians' calculations, was a record in the second division. Pushed far into their own half by Düsseldorf, St. Pauli celebrated a kind of lurking football in the first half with a preference for counter-attacking – which Johannes Eggestein took advantage of at some point to aim for the goal centrally in front of the penalty area, although Kastenmeier had little problems with this (26 .). Shortly afterwards, Oladapo Afolayan missed a cross to the other side of the penalty area, and careless passes ruined a fluid game on both sides.
Due to the deficit shortly before the break, Hamburg had to go on the offensive more, in the second half it was Philipp Treu who went down in the penalty area after a delicate contact with Fortuna's Ao Tanaka and earned a benevolent penalty. Like a copy of the first penalty, St. Pauli's Marcel Hartel converted it into the left corner to make it 1-1 (60'). Here, too, Kastenmeier had the right instinct, but couldn't get to the ball.
Captain Hartel was celebrated as a football god by the fans at the introduction before the game; the 28-year-old is something of a guarantee of success for the Hanseatic League: In the league, Hartel leads the scorers list with eleven goals and nine assists. It was Hartel who could have made it 2-1 in extra time: after a failed pass from Joshua Quarshie, he pulled the ball over the box a few meters in front of the goal.
In the 99th minute, Burchert was unable to hold on to a long-range shot
In return, the guests took the lead again. Burchert couldn't hold on to a long-range shot from Christoph Daferner, Tanaka took advantage of the mistake and pushed in (99'). In the sold-out St. Pauli stadium, the fighting spirit of the almost 30,000 fans was revived once again, with substitute Carlo Boukhalfa saving the score to 2-2 in the 121st minute. In the penalty shootout it was Hartel and Maurides who were unable to convert. And in the end Düsseldorf celebrated.