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Football | Germany

Daniel Caligiuri © Reuters Images

Freiburg stun Mainz in five-goal thriller



Freiburg staged a remarkable comeback from two goals down to beat 10-men Mainz 05 3-2 in extra time on Tuesday and book a spot in the German Cup semifinals for the first time.

Daniel Caligiuri, who grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser, scored the winner in the 108th minute after his team struck twice in the dying minutes of regular play to force extra time.

The hosts, looking to repeat their Cup semifinal run of 2009, made a dream start and instantly piled pressure when teenager Shawn Parker drilled in from close range after fine work on the left wing by Chinedu Ede.

Adam Szalai set up Danish international Niki Zimling for Mainz's second goal two minutes later with Freiburg seemingly in disarray.

The visitors, however, recovered and had two chances of their own late in the first half including a header on to the crossbar.

With Freiburg forced to venture forward, Mainz lurked on the break and it almost paid off with a double chance for Parker whose second shot was blocked by keeper Oliver Baumann.

But they set up a nervous final 25 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men after Zdenek Pospech was sent off for a second booking following a foul on Daniel Caligiuri.

Caligiuri, whose brother Marco was on the pitch for Mainz, missed a huge chance when he failed to connect with the ball in front of goal.

Freiburg substitute Ivan Santini cut the deficit with a close-range effort in the 85th minute after Freiburg had again hit the crossbar through Matthias Ginter.

Caligiuri made amends for his miss, drilling in a penalty deep into stoppage time to force extra time.

Caligiuri then grabbed the winner to complete a memorable comeback for Freiburg who hit the woodwork four times against their Bundesliga rivals.

Third division Kickers Offenbach, yet to concede a goal in the competition having won all their games 2-0, take on Bundesliga VfL Wolfsburg later on Tuesday.

Holders Borussia Dortmund travel to Bayern Munich on Wednesday in a much-anticipated quarterfinal and VfB Stuttgart take on second tier VfL Bochum.



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