Borussia Dortmund needed a late rally to see off a spirited Borussia Mönchengladbach side in a cagey second round DFB-Pokal clash at the Westfalenstadion.
Both sides struggled to create many clear cut openings with most attacks breaking down in the final third with some very sloppy passing on display. The visitors struck first after 71 minutes when Marcus Thuram powered home a close range header to stun the home side.
Dortmund rallied though and finally found some quality with Julian Brandt finding the net twice in three minutes to turn the tie around and book Lucien Farve's men a place in the last 16 of the cup.
Here's 90min's breakdown of the game
Key Talking Point
The tie of the round saw two of the Bundesliga's current top five lock horns for a place in the last 16 of the domestic cup. This was the second time in two weeks that the two sides had met with Dortmund just edging the league fixture 1-0 with a second half Marco Reus strike settling the "battle of the Borussias" at the Westfalenstadion last time out.
It was Dortmund who dominated possession in a very scrappy first half that saw both sides struggle fashion much in terms of chances.
The visitors went closest after Manuel Akanji's error saw Marcus Thuram force Marwin Hitz into a smart reflex save. Previously, Thorgan Hazard had rattled the woodwork for the home side with a long range effort but that was as good as it got going into the interval.
The second half started in much the same way with Dortmund rather guilty of recycling the ball without any real attacking intent, all the while the were allowing their opponents to grown bolder on the counter attack.
Unforced, nervy errors from Akanji and Dan-Axel Zagadou served to encourage the Mönchengladbach forwards to come at their hosts and they got their reward with just 19 minutes left to play. Thuram arrived in between the two hapless defenders and met Oscar Wendt's cross with a thunderous header to break the deadlock.
It was a goal that the match needed and Dortmund responded superbly as Julian Brandt scored twice in three minutes to help turn the tie around. His first was a low struck effort which Yann Sommer really should have kept out but his second was an excellent header, guided in to the far corner from Hazard's laser guided ball in from the left.
Starting XI: Hitz (6), Piszczek (6), Akanji (4), Zagadou (5), Schulz (6), Witsel (5), Weigl (5), Brandt (8*), Sancho (6), Larsen (4), Hazard (7)
Substitutes: Hakimi (7) Gotze (6)
Dortmund needed some quality to see them through this tough cup draw and they found it in their 23-year-old winger Brandt. The German international showed his class and steely composure to drag his side through when they really didn't look like scoring in this match.
His first goal was speculative but well hit, even if the keeper should have kept it out. His header though was excellent, guided neatly in to the far corner to sink the visitors with just ten minutes left on the clock. The summer signing is still finding his feet at Dortmund but on this evidence he certainly has the match winning quality that all top sides must have in their ranks.
Starting XI: Sommer (4), Beyer (6), Zakaria (6), Elvedi (4), Lainer (5), Hofmann (5), Benes (4), Neuhaus (5), Bensebaini (5), Thuram (7), Stindl (5)
Substitutes: Wendt (7) Hermrmann (5)
Borussia Dortmund's dreams of a fifth DFB-Pokal survive for now but it is back to league action this weekend as they entertain Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday. A fifth win of the season would see Dortmund climb back into the top four and put some pressure on the sides above them.