Werder Bremen defeat ten-men Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in German Cup quarter-finals
Werder Bremen football club reached the German Cup semi-finals after turning the tides to a 3-1 victory against Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals.
From the kick-off, Roger Schmidt's men took the reins against Bremen to reward themselves with the opener after 22 minutes in front of 24,104 spectators at Bay Arena. Bremen's Alejandro Galvez felled Stefan Kiessling inside the box, allowing Javier to break the deadlock from the penalty spot to the bottom right corner.
Bremen remained unimpressed and gained, step-by-step, a foothold in the game. As a result, Bremen levelled the scores only eight minutes later through Garcia, who deflected Fin Bartels' shot on target into the top left corner.
Bremen's equaliser shocked the hosts and things went from bad to worse after Wendell saw a straight red card following a foul play on Bartels inside the box at the 41st minute. Bremen veteran Claudio Pizarro stepped up and converted the awarded penalty to make it 2-1 on the scoreboards.
Despite one man down, Leverkusen left nothing undone to equalise the scores after the restart. However, Bremen's well-organised defence was able to neutralise the host's efforts albeit custodian Felix Wiedwald had to defuse Kevin Kampl's shot on target with ten minutes remaining.
The visitors sealed the deal and semi-final tickets moments later when Florian Grillitsch capitalised on Pizarro's square pass inside the penalty area to slot home into the open goal for the 3-1 lead.
"Bremen deserve the victory and a place in the semi-finals. We are of course disappointed," Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said.
"Of course, we are happy. We beat a very strong opponent on the road and sealed our progression into the last four. That's great," Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik said.