Tah strikes late to send Leverkusen to German Cup semis

Tah strikes late to send Leverkusen to German Cup semis

February 6, 2024 at 10:14 PM
Jonathan Tah celebrates his 90th-minute German-Cup winner for Leverkusen
Jonathan Tah celebrates his 90th-minute German-Cup winner for Leverkusen. Photo: Roberto Pfeil / AFP
Source: AFP

Jonathan Tah scored in the 90th minute to send Bayer Leverkusen through to the German Cup semis, with a 3-2 win at home over Stuttgart on Tuesday.

League leaders Leverkusen came from behind twice against an impressive Stuttgart, securing victory in the dying moments for the third time in their past five matches.

With the match headed for extra time, star midfielder Florian Wirtz curled in a superb cross for Tah to head home and clinch a memorable victory.

The win will be a crucial confidence boost for Leverkusen ahead of Saturday's home date with Bayern Munich, who sit two points behind them in the league.

With Leverkusen and Stuttgart two of only three quarter finalists from the top division, this season's German Cup represented a real chance of silverware -- particularly with Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and holders RB Leipzig already eliminated.

Surprise packets Stuttgart, who sit third on the table having needed to win a two-legged playoff to stay in the Bundesliga last season, opened with a flurry and scored after just 11 minutes.

Waldemar Anton opened the scoring, shedding centre-back Edmond Tapsoba to head in from a corner and give the visitors a deserved lead.

Unflappable for much of the season, the early goal took the steam out of Alonso's league leaders, who struggled to handle Stuttgart's intense pressing.

Leverkusen finally broke through early in the second-half with a stunning shot from Germany midfielder Robert Andrich.

Stuttgart scored next, again pressing Leverkusen into an error when trying to play out from the back, before Chris Fuehrich curled the ball home.

Alonso sensed an upset and brought on Amine Adli, fresh from African Cup of Nations duty for Morocco. The forward repayed his coach's faith, collecting a Wirtz assist and scoring three minutes after coming off the bench.

With a punishing 30 minutes of extra time on the horizon, Wirtz found Tah unmarked in front of goal, keeping the home side's dream of a treble alive.

On Wednesday, three-time Cup winners Borussia Moenchengladbach travel to third-division Saarbruecken.

This season's giant killers, Saarbruecken have already claimed the scalps of Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt.

The winners will join Leverkusen along with second division sides Fortuna Dusseldorf and Kaiserslautern in the last four.

AFP photo