Munich’s Thomas Mueller, (left), challenges for the ball with Dortmund’s Felipe Santana during the German Soccer Cup (DFB Pokal) quarterfinal match between FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Munich, Germany, on Feb 27. (AP)
Bayern dump Dortmund out Stuttgart qualify

BERLIN, Feb 27, (RTRS): Bayern Munich beat holders Borussia Dortmund 1-0 courtesy of a spectacular Arjen Robben goal to move into the German Cup semi-finals and reclaim domestic dominance after failing to defeat their rivals in the last six encounters. Robben, unhappy about his substitute role this season, only made the starting lineup for the hosts due to the absence of the suspended Franck Ribery but capped a sparkling performance with his 43rd-minute curled shot. Wednesday’s victory was sweet for Bayern, looking for their first silverware in three years, as they took revenge for their 5-2 German Cup final loss to Dortmund last season. The Bavarians, who had lost five of their last six games against their rivals but hold a 17-point lead over the champions at the top of the Bundesliga, were the better side throughout.

Robben shot out of the blocks and twice came close in the opening stages in front of a 71,000 crowd which included UEFA president Michel Platini and German football boss Wolfgang Niersbach. He finally managed to beat goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who made a dozen stunning saves to keep Dortmund in the game, with a trademark 20-metre effort from the right. Dortmund, badly missing central defender Mats Hummels, were left exposed at the back far too often while they also failed to find ways to punch through a solid Bayern backline with striker Robert Lewandowski — a reported Bayern transfer target — having a bad day.
Earlier on Wednesday Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart edged past gutsy second tier VfL Bochum 2-0 to book their spot in the last four.

Christian Gentner grabbed the lead for Stuttgart, who last won the trophy in 1997, when his shot from about 18 metres took a wicked deflection to sail over keeper Andreas Luthe and into the net in the 18th minute.
Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic ended his goal drought stretching back to December by drilling the ball in from 11 metres in the 81st minute. He has now scored in every round of the Cup this season.Freiburg staged a remarkable comeback from 2-0 down to beat 10-man Mainz 05 3-2 after extra-time  to reach the German Cup semifinals for the first time. Daniel Caligiuri grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser for the visitors before scoring the winner in the 108th minute in the all-Bundesliga clash.

“We were not organised at the start and had lots of problems,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich told reporters. “But we fought back with everything we had. “Even if we had lost that would have been a courageous performance. I am glad to coach such a team.” Freiburg were joined in the last four by VfL Wolfsburg who ended third-tier Kickers Offenbach’s run with a 2-1 away victory courtesy of second-half goals from Croat Ivica Olic and Dutchman Bas Dost. Offenbach, who had beaten two Bundesliga teams and a second-tier side in previous rounds without conceding a goal, pulled one back in the 81st minute through Marcel Stadel but could not find an equaliser despite piling players forward. In Mainz, the hosts were looking to repeat their surge to the 2009 semis and made a dream start by scoring twice in the opening four minutes. Teenager Shawn Parker drilled the ball in from close range after good work on the left wing by Chinedu Ede and Adam Szalai set up Danish international Niki Zimling for the second goal two minutes later with Freiburg in disarray.

The visitors, however, recovered and had two chances of their own late in the first half including one effort that hit the bar. With Freiburg forced to plough forward, Mainz looked menacing on the break and Parker twice went close to beating keeper Oliver Baumann. The home team went down to 10 men after 65 minutes when Zdenek Pospech was sent off for a second booking following a foul on Caligiuri. Caligiuri, whose brother Marco was playing for Mainz, missed an excellent chance when he failed to connect with the ball in front of goal. Substitute Ivan Santini cut the deficit with a close-range effort in the 86th minute after Freiburg had again hit the crossbar through Matthias Ginter. Caligiuri then made amends for his earlier miss, drilling in a penalty deep into stoppage time to force extra-time. The same player then notched the third goal to complete a memorable fightback by Freiburg who hit the woodwork four times in all.
 

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