2020-21 German DFB Pokal, First Round
  • Martin Kobylanski (2', 44', 66')
  • Maximilian Mittelstädt (17' OG)
  • Suleiman Abdullahi (73')
  • Dodi Lukébakio (23', 83')
  • Matheus Cunha (29')
  • Peter Pekarik (65')

Second-tier Braunschweig edge past Hertha 5-4 in German Cup

Eintracht Braunschweig players celebrate after beating Hertha Berlin in the German Cup. Getty Images

Eintracht Braunschweig captain Martin Kobylanski scored a hat trick as the second-division newcomers stunned Hertha Berlin 5-4 in the German Cup first round on Friday to kick off the new German football season.

The hosts needed just 63 seconds to take the lead in a hugely entertaining game with a 25-metre free kick from Kobylanski in front of 500 fans who were allowed in the 25,000-capacity arena.

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A Jannis Nikolaou header then bounced off the back of Maximilian Mittelstaedt into the Hertha net for a 17th-minute own goal.

Yet Hertha, who had lost their three most recent preseason games against Hamburg SV, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax Amsterdam without scoring a goal, bounced back, scoring twice in six minutes with Dodi Lukebakio's header and Matheus Cunha's effort in the 29th.

Braunschweig went back in front a minute before the break with Kobylanski sliding in to score on the rebound after his penalty was punched away. But Hertha made it 3-3 through Peter Pekarik before Kobylanski bagged his hat trick with a powerful shot.

Suleiman Abdullahi thought he had killed off any chances of another Hertha comeback, slotting in after a superb Ben Balla assist who found his team mate with a back-flick in the air.

Lukekabio fired in his second in the 83rd to cut the deficit again to 5-4 but despite several late chances the Bundesliga club failed to score an equaliser.