Fortuna Düsseldorf is the first participant in this year’s DFB Cup semi-finals. The Rhinelanders narrowly prevailed in a tough game on penalties.
It was a DFB Cup quarter-final that thrived above all on the tension: In the end, Fortuna Düsseldorf prevailed 4:3 (2:2; 1:1) after a penalty shootout at FC St. Pauli and is therefore among the last four teams in this competition.
In the poor footballing game, which was primarily determined by control and avoiding mistakes on both sides, Vincent Vermeij (38th) took the lead for the guests with a penalty. Marcel Hartel (60th) equalized for the hosts in regular time – also from the penalty spot.
Zsolis shoots Düsseldorf to victory
Ao Tanaka (99th) took the lead again for coach Daniel Thioune’s team in the first half of extra time. Carlo Boukhalfa (120th) headed the team from Hamburg into the penalty shootout with his goal to make it 2-2 in the last second. Christos Zolis converted the decisive penalty for Düsseldorf.
“Whoever dies in the 120th minute actually dies in the penalty shootout. God meant well for us today.”said Fortuna coach Thioune.
“We showed the virtues that characterize St. Pauli. But we were missing something in the first half. But that doesn’t knock us down.”said St. Pauli defender Hauke Wahl. It was Hamburg’s first defeat in a competitive game this season.
The game sputtered along like that
Both teams started the game with limited energy. Although Hamburg had more possession of the ball, they were unable to set any offensive accents because the Rhinelanders concentrated primarily on their defensive stability and nipped all efforts in the bud.
After 15 minutes the game picked up a little more momentum, but both offensive lines still lacked the brilliant ideas to be successful in front of the opponent’s goal. Neither St. Pauli nor Düsseldorf wanted to make a mistake and fall behind. The game was mostly uneventful for long stretches – until the 35th minute.
Disappointing St. Pauli
Then Fortuna’s attacker Vermeij was sent on his way by Yannik Engelhardt on the halfway line, Pauli goalkeeper Sascha Burchert tried to get to the ball and brought the attacker down. The Dutchman himself confidently converted the penalty to make it 1-0 for the guests.
St. Pauli didn’t create any significant chances to score in the first half, seemed inhibited and disappointed until then. Coach Fabian Hürzeler’s team inevitably had to increase the tempo and also the risk in the second 45 minutes.
Tanaka causes a penalty
The intensity of the Hamburg game increased, but the Düsseldorf team initially proved to be tough and resilient. However, Fortuna also made a misstep in their own penalty area. Tanaka brought down Hamburg’s Philipp Treu and Hartel converted the penalty to make it 1-1.
Afterwards, both teams again shied away from taking risks. Goal opportunities remained in short supply again, as did successful actions. It was clear to all the players on the field that there was a lot at stake and that this had no positive effect on their footballing efforts.
Goalkeeper Burchert with a serious mistake
In the first half of extra time, Hamburg tried to take the initiative – and almost benefited from an unsuccessful defensive attempt by Düsseldorf defender Joshua Quarshie – but Hartel, who was completely free (97th), lost his nerve seven meters from the goal and maneuvered the ball over the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, it was Tanaka who took advantage of a mistake by the St. Pauli goalkeeper. Fortuna attacker Daferner had previously tried from 25 meters away, Burchert deflected the ball forward, where Tanaka was standing and scored from close range to make it 2-1.
Hamburg tried everything until the end of extra time – and were rewarded. Boukhalfa nodded a final cross into the Düsseldorf penalty area with the final effort from six meters to the inside post of the Fortuna goal, from where the ball rolled over the goal line to equalize.
In the penalty shootout, Christoph Daferner missed at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Maurides and Hartel missed at Hamburg.