BERLIN (Dispatches) - Two goals in both halves helped Leipzig to secure a 4-0 victory over lower league side Sandhausen while two quick goals at Lok Leipzig paved Leverkusen’s way into the second round of the German Cup on Saturday.
The “Bulls” ensured a successful debut for their new head coach Jesse Marsch as his men took the reins from the starting whistle after their new arrival Andre Silva missed the target from close range with just three minutes gone.
The visitors thought they had opened the scoring with 18 minutes played but Mohamed Simakan’s header following a corner was ruled out due to a foregone foul play.
Leipzig eventually broke the deadlock moments later as Angelino’s dangerous set-piece into the box allowed Willi Orban to nod the ball past Sandhausen goalkeeper Patrick Drews.
Silva should have doubled Leipzig’s advantage, but the striker failed to make the most of Christopher Nkunku’s build-up work in the 22nd minute.
Leipzig controlled the proceedings on the pitch and added a second goal just before the break when Nkunku assisted Amadou Haidara, who finished off a fast break from inside the box.
After the restart, Leipzig continued where it left off as Nkunku got his name on the scoreboards after beating Drews following a through ball from Silva to make it three at the hour mark.
Sandhausen showed a sign of life in the closing stages after Janik Bachmann tested Leipzig custodian Peter Gulacsi from six meters.
Leipzig remained unimpressed and rounded off the first-round win with the fourth goal through Dominik Szoboszlai, who benefitted from Hee-Chan Hwang’s pass into the path in the 81st minute.
“My team was absolutely ready for this game today. They played very well. They continued powerful after taking the lead and showed a good mentality,” new Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch said.
Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen booked its spot for the second round as well after seeing off Lok Leipzig 3-0 by courtesy on Kerem Demirbay’s brace.
The “Werkself” caught a fairy-tale start into their first competitive game of the season as Demirbay made no mistake to convert a foul play penalty with only six minutes into the encounter.
The hosts responded well but were hapless in the 14th minute when Leverkusen made it two with their second chance of the game as Bellarabi volleyed home Odilon Kossounou’s header into the area.
With the two-goal lead behind, Leverkusen ceased its offensive actions and let the underdogs do the work. Leverkusen lurked on counterattacks even after the restart, Lok Leipzig lacked penetration to threaten the visitor’s defense.
Leverkusen’s passiveness got almost punished in the game’s dying minutes, but Luca Sirch failed to overcome goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky from five meters.
The Bundesliga side sealed the deal three minutes later though when Demirbay curled a free-kick past Lok Leipzig keeper Jan-Ole Sievers.
“We did everything we can to avoid conceding a goal. After the first half, we were leading 2-0. Lok didn’t play too bad after the restart we nevertheless controlled the game and deserved to win,” Leverkusen’s attacking midfielder Demirbay said.
Elsewhere, Arminia Bielefeld overpowered resilient lower league team Bayreuth 6-3 to avoid a first-round elimination.