Cup exit for the Werkself after 2-1 defeat in Heidenheim

Bitter disappointment for Bayer 04 three days after the win against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga: The Werkself lost 2-1 to second division FC Heidenheim in the DFB Cup Round of 16. Julian Brandt gave Leverkusen the lead just before half-time (44') but the hosts turned the game round in the second half with goals from Nikola Dovedan (47') and Maurice Multhaup (72').

"We missed a great chance and we fully deserved to lose based on the second half. Absolutely unnecessary and enormously annoying," said the disappointed Brandt after the game.

There were five changes to the Bayer 04 starting eleven in the Bundesliga fixture with FC Bayern. In central defence, Aleksandar Dragovic and Tin Jedvaj came in for Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender who was not in the squad. Julian Baumgartlinger was captain and he replaced the injured Kai Havertz in midfield, Paulinho started on the wing in place of Karim Bellarabi and up front Lucas Alario replaced Kevin Volland. In addition to the injured Lars Bender, Havertz, Retsos and Pohjanpalo, Dominik Kohr was still ruled out with the effects of a stomach bug. U19 defender Jan Boller was on the bench.

The hosts, with crowd favourite Marc Schnatterer amongst the subs to start with, had only lost two of their last 16 games and last season they were knocked out at the Round of 16 stage following a 2-1 defeat after extra time to the eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt. The Werkself were aware of the difficulty of the task in minus temperatures at the freezing Voith Arena. Heidenheim fans were clearly full of confidence ahead of the kick-off with one banner proclaiming, "Now is the time – win the Cup". The 700 travelling Werkself supporters had a much snappier presence with "Forza Bayer".

The first chance for Leverkusen, playing in white, came after six minutes with a low drive from Leon Bailey that failed to trouble the Heidenheim keeper Kevin Müller. Bayer 04 were clearly in control of the game early on as they endeavoured to make clean passes and move the ball around the team. The opening half hour did not see any other targeted shots as the resolute hosts were determined and well organised in defence. Patience and deep breaths were required for the Werkself. That was no surprise. An effort from Paulinho that curled well wide of the target did not really count as a goalscoring opportunity (29'). That also applied to a left-foot shot from Arne Feick that Lukas Hradecky was easily able to save (36').

Brandt hits the post and scores

Everything changed a minute later: Bailey put Brandt through in the box but the Germany international only hit the inside of the post of the Heidenheim goal (37'). That could have been the desired opener. But there wasn't long to wait after that. A well timed pass from Charles Aránguiz again set up Brandt in the opposition box, this time from the other side, and Julian's low shot went through Müller's legs into the far corner – 1-0 (44') and that was the half-time score after a professional opening 45 minutes from the Werkself.

Heidenheim respond quickly

There were no changes at half-time but there was a sudden shock for the visitors. A Heidenheim counter-attack ended with Dovedan beating Dragovic and then putting the ball past Hradecky with the Finland goalkeeper left helpless – 1-1 (47') and the sides were all square again. The goal had an effect on the Werkself. Five minutes later, Heidenheim had the chance to take the lead but Multhaup fired a shot against the underside of the bar from close range when he was well placed (52'). At the other end, Brandt had two shots within a minute – the first went wide and then Müller was able to save the second with some difficulty (58').

Now it was a real cup tie. Hradecky saved a low shot from Dovedan on the hour mark and an effort from Paulinho three minutes later was hit straight at the keeper. Mitchell Weiser received a pass from Aránguiz but his effort to the near post only hit the side netting (67'). Peter Bosz then made a double change: Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi came on for Alario and Paulinho (71'). Heidenheim struck a second time almost straight away. Wendell was unable to clear a cross and Multhaup was able to get the ball over the line to make it 2-1 (72').

Bayer 04 were determined to try and get back on terms straightaway. A header from Bailey just went wide of the far post (83'). The Werkself desperately sought to make the breakthrough. There was four minutes of added time. Isaac Kiese Thelin came on for Aránguiz (90+ 1'). Müller saved a header from the Swede a minute later and, at the other end, Hradecky made a great save to deny Robert Glatzel (90+3'). Shortly after that came the end of the game and the Bayer 04 DFB Cup campaign.

The Werkself are back in action again in three days time on Bundesliga matchday 21: Bayer 04 are away to FSV Mainz 05 on Friday 8 February at 20.30 CET.

Match stats:

FC Heidenheim: Müller – Busch, Mainka, Theuerkauf, Feick (Strauß 84') – Dorsch (Thomalla 81'), Griesbeck – Multhaup, Thiel (Beermann 78') – Dovedan, Glatzel

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Weiser, Dragovic, Jedvaj, Wendell – Baumgartlinger, Aránguiz (Kiese Thelin 90') – Bailey, Brandt, Paulinho ( Bellarabi 71') – Alario (Volland 71')

Goals: 0-1 Brandt (44’), 1-1 Dovedan (47’), 2-1 Multhaup (72’)

Referee: Robert Hartmann (Wangen)

Booked: Dorsch – Dragovic, Baumgartlinger

Attendance: 11,000

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