Third tier Lotte dump Leverkusen out of German Cup
BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen twice squandered the lead before slumping out of the German Cup second round 4-3 on penalties at third tier Sportfreunde Lotte on Tuesday.
Lotte were down to 10 men from the 79th minute with the score at 1-1 but they refused to buckle and snatched a memorable victory after the game finished 2-2 following extra time.
Champions League club Leverkusen, who have slipped to 11th after losing their last two Bundesliga matches, were desperate to beat a side who stunned Werder Bremen in the previous round.
Leverkusen, with coach Roger Schmidt banned for two matches following a verbal attack on his Hoffenheim counterpart in their 3-0 weekend home league loss, struck after 26 minutes when Kevin Volland fired home despite the attentions of two defenders.
The visitors were lucky to keep the lead when a Lotte effort was controversially ruled offside minutes later, but the hosts scored right after the break when Leverkusen's Roberto Hilbert, completely alone, deflected a harmless cross into his own goal.
Lotte's Tim Wendel was then sent off before Volland struck again in the first half of extra time with a close-range volley.
However, the home side refused to give up and came back once more through Kevin Freiberger's equaliser before keeping their cool to claim a famous victory in the penalty shootout.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)