Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse scored 30 seconds into his first club start in two months in Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-1 win at Freiburg.
Leverkusen, second in the Bundesliga, reached the German Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday for the first time in five years by scoring the quickest goal of this season’s competition.
Kruse was able to capitalise on a dreadful error by Freiburg’s defense. Then Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter equalised after 19 minutes, and Leverkusen finally grabbed the victory thanks to Emre Can’s score in the 77th minute.
“That was a fight today. We didn’t take advantage of our chances today. We could have finished off the game much earlier,” said Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes.
Leverkusen manager Sami Hyypia went as far as to say his team was not the better one. “Freiburg played much, much better than we did today. But I am very satisfied that we advanced,” said Hyypia.
Holders Bayern Munich reached the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Augsburg, but star winger Arjen Robben suffered a painful knee injury.
The 29-year-old scored four minutes into Bayern’s third-round tie but had to be stretchered off 12 minutes later having been sent tumbling by Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.
The extent of the injury will only be known after a scan.
Robben has been in outstanding form for Bayern recently, scoring in each of his last four matches for the Bundesliga leaders.
His replacement Thomas Mueller scored Bayern’s second, heading home 12 minutes from time to put Pep Guardiola’s side into the last eight.
The quarter-finals will be played on February 11 and 12 with the final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May 17.