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German cup holders Eintract Frankfurt lose to fourth-tier amateurs

Bayern Munich were pushed to the brink, but it was Robert Lewandowski’s late strike that propelled his side past Drochtersen/Assel.
Bayern Munich’s German Cup match against Drochtersen/Assel was delayed due to beach balls being thrown on the pitch.

DFB Pokal holders Eintracht Frankfurt crashed out of the German cup in the first round on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat away to amateurs Ulm.

Frankfurt, who surprised Bayern Munich in the cup final last season, became the first holders to exit the competition at the first hurdle since Kaiserslautern lost in 1996.

Steffen Kienle and Vitalij Lux scored for fourth-tier Ulm, who spent one season in the top flight in 1999-2000, and the minnows held on after Goncalo Paciencia got a goal back for Frankfurt.

They weren’t the only Bundesliga club to crash out on Saturday, though, as Stuttgart capitulated in a 2-0 defeat at third-tier Hansa Rostock.

Bayern escaped a scare of their own against a four-division club, as the German champions were frustrated by Drochtersen/Assel until Robert Lewandowski scored in the 82nd minute.

“I’m happy we’re still in the cup,” said new Bayern coach Niko Kovac, who coached Frankfurt to their triumph mere months ago.

Drochtersen were only playing in the competition for the second time in their 41-year existence after winning the Lower Saxony Cup, and the club more than doubled its stadium capacity from 3,000 to 7,500 with temporary seats just for the visit of the record 18-time cup winners.

“I find it incredible that we were able to keep the game open for so long,” Drochtersen coach Lars Uder said. “That’s why I’m so proud of my team.”

Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg, Mainz and Nurnberg all progressed with wins over lower-league opposition.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Young Boys v Dinamo Zagreb facts

Young Boys will be keen to earn a UEFA Champions League group debut as they kick-off their play-off tie with home advantage, although to progress they will have to overcome experienced European campaigners Dinamo Zagreb.

Form guide
Young Boys
• Young Boys were Swiss champions in 2017/18 – their 12th league title, but a first since 1986.

• This is Young Boys’ sixth UEFA Champions League campaign and fourth play-off – they have never reached the group stage. Twelve months ago, they lost home (0-1) and away (0-2) to CSKA Moskva, having previously been beaten at this stage by Tottenham (6-3 on aggregate) in 2010/11 and Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-9) in 2015/16.

• Young Boys did reach the semi-finals of the 1958/59 European Champion Clubs’ Cup, losing 3-1 over two legs against Stade de Reims.

• Before beating Albania’s Skënderbeu 2-1 on matchday six of last season’s UEFA Europa League, Young Boys were seven European games without a win (D3 L4).

• The Swiss club have won only one of their last six UEFA Champions League qualifying matches, losing the other five.

• This is Young Boys’ first European tie against Croatian opposition.

Five great play-off round goals

Five great play-off round goals

• Dinamo are unbeaten in their three previous matches against Swiss opponents (W1 D2). Their only previous trip to the country ended in a 5-0 success at Grasshoppers in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round second leg, completing a 9-4 aggregate success.

• The Zagreb club claimed a 19th Croatian league title in 2017/18, having had their run of 11 successive championships ended the previous season.

• Dinamo have reached the group stage on six previous occasions, and are bidding to qualify for the third time in four seasons. In 2017/18, they lost on away goals to Albania’s Skënderbeu in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• The Croatian champions have won three of their four games in qualifying this season, beating Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva 7-2 on aggregate in the second qualifying round before a 3-0 defeat of Astana over two games.

• That extended Dinamo’s unbeaten European run to eight games, home and away (W4 D4) – they had lost their previous six.

• Dinamo’s record in UEFA Champions League play-offs is W4 L1 – that sole defeat coming against Austria Wien in 2013/14 (3-4 aggregate). They have also won three of their four UEFA Europa League play-offs.

Links and trivia
• Dinamo forward Izet Hajrović was born in Switzerland and represented the country at youth levels, winning a senior cap in 2012 before opting to play for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

• Hajrović and Young Boys midfielder Ulisses Garcia both started their professional career at Grasshoppers, and were Werder Bremen team-mates from 2016 to 2018.

• Dinamo forward Mario Gavranović was born in Lugano and has 16 senior caps for Switzerland, making two appearances at this summer’s FIFA World Cup. He started his professional career at Lugano and had spells with Yverdon-Sport, Neuchâtel Xamax and Zürich before moving to Croatia in 2016.

• Gavranović and Young Boys defender Loris Benito were Zürich team-mates from 2012 to 2014.

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BATE v PSV facts

BATE Borisov and PSV Eindhoven meet in the first leg of their play-off tie bidding to take a significant step towards the UEFA Champions League group stage, where both have been regulars in previous years.

• This is the first time the teams have crossed paths, but both have plenty of European pedigree – PSV lifting the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1988 while BATE have established themselves as hardy opponents at this level, earning notable home wins against Bayern München and Roma in previous years.

• The clubs have an unusual link in common; the flag on BATE’s logo was inspired by PSV’s badge. “It was important to reflect the will to win and be the best with our logo,” explained BATE. “It was how the flag appeared. We adopted this idea from the Dutch [club] PSV.”

Form Guide
• Belarusian champions for a 14th time in 2017 – their 12th title in a row – BATE have come through two qualifying rounds to reach this stage. They saw off HJK Helsinki and Qarabağ in the second and third qualifying rounds respectively, winning both ties 2-1 on aggregate.

• BATE have drawn both home games in this season’s competition, extending their run of European home draws to three – indeed, they have won only two of their last nine European home games, although they have lost only once in that sequence, with six draws.

• The Belarusian club made the most recent of their five UEFA Champions League group appearances in 2015/16, when they finished bottom of Group E behind Barcelona, Roma – who they beat 3-2 at home – and Bayer Leverkusen.

• BATE have won all four of their previous UEFA Champions League play-offs – and three of their four in the UEFA Europa League, their sole defeat coming against Astana in 2016/17.

• In 2017/18, BATE lost to Slavia Praha in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. They went on to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage, finishing bottom of their section with five points from six games.

• BATE’s sole previous European home tie against Dutch opponents ended in a 4-1 victory against AZ Alkmaar in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage; they lost the away game 3-0.

Five great play-off round goals

Five great play-off round goals

• PSV are without a win in their last ten European games (D4 L6), since a 2-1 home win against CSKA Moskva in December 2015.

• Eredivisie champions last season, this is PSV’s second UEFA Champions League play-off tie – they lost the first 4-1 on aggregate to AC Milan in 2013/14 (1-1 home, 0-3 away).

• The Dutch club have also taken part in five UEFA Europa League play-offs, winning them all – most recently against Belarus’s Shakhtyor Soligorsk in 2014/15 (1-0 home, 2-0 away), with Aleksei Reios, now of BATE, appearing in both legs for Shakhtyor. That is their only previous tie against a club from Belarus.

• PSV’s away record in play-off ties across the two competitions is W3 D1 L2.

• PSV’s 2017/18 European campaign lasted only one tie – they lost 1-0 home and away against Croatia’s Osijek in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

• The Eindhoven club are aiming to reach the group stage for the 16th time – and the third occasion in four seasons. On their last participation, in 2016/17, they finished bottom of Group D with two points – the first time since 1992/93 they had failed to win a game in the group stage.

Links and trivia
• BATE midfielder Aleksandr Hleb played against PSV head coach Mark van Bommel in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final, Hleb’s Arsenal losing 2-1 against Van Bommel’s Barcelona at the Stade de France.

• PSV defender Nick Viergever was in the AZ team that beat BATE 3-0 on 15 December 2010.

• BATE defender Rios scored his first international goal in Belarus’s 4-1 defeat against the Netherlands in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification in October 2016. Maksim Volodko was on target in a 3-1 home Belarus loss 12 months later.

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