A record-breaking own goal, a fantastic start for the new signing - and in the end the first win under Bruno Labbadia: VfB Stuttgart narrowly and late beat second division club SC Paderborn in a wild round of 16 of the DFB Cup.
Despite an early slapstick own goal by Konstantinos Mavropanos, VfB Stuttgart have reached the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup for the first time in seven years. The table-15 went on thanks to Serhou Guirassy's late winner (90.5). of the Bundesliga on Tuesday at SC Paderborn, fifth in the second division, and celebrated the first win at the fourth attempt under the returning coach Bruno Labbadia.
The Greek central defender Mavropanos caused the early deficit by returning from 48 meters into his own goal. According to the DFB, there was never an own goal from a further distance in the cup. But the Portuguese Gil Días (86th), who had only been signed the day before and came on as a substitute four minutes earlier, gave VfB the lead before Guirassy scored the surprising winning goal. "It was a memorable start with the own goal," said sports director Fabian Wohlgemuth on Sky: "A real blow to the neck. Konstantinos will tell his grandchildren about it."
VfB was last in the quarterfinals in 2016, in the final ten years ago - under Labbadia (2: 3 against FC Bayern). Stuttgart's sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth, who only moved from Paderborn to Stuttgart at the beginning of February, experienced an ultimately successful return on Tuesday. Paderborn meanwhile missed the third entry into the quarter-finals in the sixth attempt. The East Westphalians achieved that in 2018 and 2019 under coach Steffen Baumgart. His successor Lukas Kwasniok was on the verge of working on another cup fairy tale for a long time on Tuesday. Three years ago he had led 1. FC Saarbrücken to the semi-finals as the first four division club.
The game started strangely, was just three minutes and a second old when Paderborn were already celebrating without having to do anything for the goal themselves: goalkeeper Florian Müller had offered to pass back, but with a band-aid over the left Eye-playing Mavropanos shot from the sidelines without looking and so hard backwards that Müller could no longer get close. Labbadia looked incredulous and motionless at first, then cursed. The Paderborn fans then scornfully applauded every successful return pass from Stuttgart to Müller.
From then on, the roles were clearly distributed. The Bundesliga club, driven by the tireless captain Wataru Endo, had the ball almost the entire time and ran. Paderborn, who started defensively in the basic formation with a chain of five, and where Bashir Humphreys (19), who had been loaned to Chelsea just three days earlier, was in the starting XI, threw themselves into every ball and waited for a counterattack. The Swabians didn't really allow that until the break, but they hardly found any gaps at the front either. 8:0 shots on goal were recorded for VfB up to the break and 70 percent possession - but it was 0:1.
Labbadia added everything he had in terms of personnel: at the break he brought in Genki Haraguchi, who had only been signed by Union Berlin three days earlier, and Luca Pfeiffer, a little over an hour later, brought in a second striker. But his team's approach remained uninspired and unimaginative. It wasn't until Gil Dias walked in that things changed. The Portuguese scored just minutes after coming on as a substitute. Guirassy then scored the winner with a header from a corner. It was VfB's 17th (!) corner of the game - and the best.