"An away game at a second division club is a draw we can be happy with," said Bayer 04 head coach Heiko Herrlich on Sunday evening shortly after the draw. "However, FC Heidenheim are definitely not to be taken for granted at their own stadium so it will definitely be a challenge for us."
The draw at the German Football Museum in Dortmund was made by the blind footballer Serdal Celebi of FC St. Pauli. The former Germany international of blind football won the August Goal of the Month competition. His strike in the Germany championship final was the first goal of the month to be scored by a blind player. Germany Women's coach Horst Hrubesch was in charge of the draw.
Formed in 2007 as a breakaway from Heidenheimer Sportbund, FC Heidenheim have played in the second division since 2014. Last season, Heidenheim were also in the DFB Cup Round of 16 where they narrowly lost 2-1 to the eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt. Since 2007, the team has been coached by Frank Schmidt who used to play for FC Nürnberg Reserves, Alemannia Aachen and Waldhof Mannheim. "Coach Frank Schmidt has done a great job there for years. We will need to be fully focused at Heidenheim. But it is clear we want to go through to the next round," said Herrlich.
Bayer 04 and FC Heidenheim have never played each other before.
There are big games in the Round of of 16 with Bundesliga clashes of Hertha Berlin against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund against Werder Bremen. The relegated Bundesliga founders Hamburg SV face FC Nürnberg.
Round of 16 draw in full:
Hamburg SV v FC Nürnberg
FC Heidenheim v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Schalke 04 v Fortuna Düsseldorf
Holstein Kiel v FC Augsburg
Hertha Berlin v FC Bayern Munich
MSV Duisburg v SC Paderborn
Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen
RB Leipzig v VfL Wolfsburg
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