German Cup: Bayern routs stricken Hamburg, Kaiserslautern reaches semis
Mario Mandzukic scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich predictably routed stricken Hamburg SV 5-0 away in the German Cup on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) and second tier Kaiserslautern ousted Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 after missing an extra-time penalty.
Ricardo Rodriguez converted two penalties and was sent off as VfL Wolfsburg won 3-2 at Hoffenheim in another quarterfinal tie.
Mandzukic is unlikely to score an easier hat-trick than Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) when he was left to score three tap-ins by a shambolic Hamburg defense which was easy meat for the rampant Bavarians.
Hamburg had lost their last six games, including a woeful 3-0 drubbing at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday which was followed by fan protests outside the stadium.
Since then, the club has been swept by rumors that coach Bert van Marwijk is set to be replaced by Felix Magath and some had suggested the change could have taken place before Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
In the event, the Dutchman was still in the hot seat although he might have wished otherwise as Bundesliga leaders and German Cup holders Bayern quickly showed the gulf in class.
Hamburg was completely outplayed but clung on for 22 minutes before Mario Goetze escaped down the left and sent over a low cross which Mandzukic, who was left unmarked, tapped in.
Bayern increased its lead with an equally simple goal four minutes later as Dante beat his marker to the ball to head in from a corner before Arjen Robben swept home the third after he was brilliantly picked out by Toni Kroos in the 54th minute.
Bayern welcomed back Bastian Schweinsteiger as a second-half substitute for his first game since undergoing a second operation on his ankle in November.
Mandzukic tapped in the fourth from another Goetze pass in the 74th minute and pounced on an awful Hamburg mix-up to complete the scoring two minutes later.
Kaiserslautern appeared to have missed their chance when Mohammadou Idrissou fired his penalty wide in the eighth minute of extra time.
But the Cameroon forward atoned by providing the cross for Ruben Jenssen to win the tie with six minutes of the extra 30 remaining.
Rodriguez converted two first-half penalties for Wolfsburg, with Roberto Firmino briefly leveling in between, and Bad Dost added a third.
Rodriguez, already booked for a professional foul, was given a second yellow for time-wasting in the 71st minute but Firmino's second goal of the game was all that Hoffenheim could muster in reply.
Borussia Dortmund, which won 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), complete the semifinal line-up. - Reuters