Berlin - Kingsley Coman spared team-mate Mats Hummels’ blushes with an extra-time winner as Bayern Munich stumbled into the German Cup quarter-finals with a 3-2 win at Hertha Berlin on Wednesday.
Hummels’ defensive mistake had gifted Hertha an equaliser in the second half of normal time, but Coman’s header ensured that Bayern huffed and puffed their way into the last four.
Hertha took the lead with a brutal counter-attack after just three minutes, Maximilian Mittelstaedt stroking the ball past Sven Ulreich, in Bayern’s goal for the injured Manuel Neuer.
Bayern hit back almost immediately through Serge Gnabry, who pounced on a loose ball and smashed in the equaliser on the half-volley.
Gnabry then put Bayern ahead just after half-time, surging into the box and slotting the ball inside the far post.
Yet Hummels’ howler brought Hertha back into the game on 67 minutes. The Bayern defender’s weak header allowed Davie Selke to dart into the box and prod the hosts level.
Hummels continued to look unsettled, and he will have been mightily relieved when Coman nodded in the winner eight minutes into extra time.
"Their second goal was unnecessary, but we all make mistakes from time to time," Gnabry told ARD. "It's always tough in the cup, and we are proud to be through."
Meanwhile, Schalke cruised into the quarter-finals with a 4-1 home win over Fortuna Duesseldorf on an emotional evening for the hosts.
The game kicked off amid a sombre atmosphere in the wake of news that Schalke’s legendary, cigar-smoking former general manager Rudi Assauer had died aged 74.
"Rudi was the architect of modern Schalke. Without him, we wouldn’t be standing in this arena," said Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies.
The mood was lightened on the half-hour mark, as Ahmed Kutucu curled the ball into the top corner to give Schalke the lead.
Their second came from a corner just after the break. Winston McKennie forced a good save from Jaroslav Drobny, before Salif Sane pounced on the rebound. Mark Uth added a third from close range on 53 minutes.
Rouwen Hennings then chipped in a consolation goal for Duesseldorf before Sane sealed the win late on.
Earlier on Wednesday, 19-year-old Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha made history with his first-half winner, as RB Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 1-0 to reach the German Cup quarter-finals for the first time.
Cunha fired Leipzig to an early lead on nine minutes, latching on to a sharp through ball from Lukas Klostermann and turning the ball into the bottom corner.
Augsburg also progressed after a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory away to second tier side Holstein Kiel.
Kiel were left to rue an array of missed chances five minutes from time, when Michael Gregoritsch found the net against the run of play to send Augsburg into the quarter-finals.
Hamburg, Paderborn, Heidenheim and Werder Bremen make up the list of quarter-finalists, having progressed on Tuesday.