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Third-tier Lotte oust Leverkusen from Cup

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016

Socceroo Robbie Kruse's Bayer Leverkusen have twice squandered the lead before slumping out of the German Cup second round 4-3 on penalties at third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte.

Lotte were down to 10 men from the 79th minute with the score at 1-1 on Tuesday but refused to buckle and snatched a memorable victory after the game finished 2-2 following extra time.

Australian attacker Kruse was replaced in the 74th minute.

Champions League club Leverkusen, who have slipped to 11th after losing their past two Bundesliga matches, were desperate to beat a side who stunned Werder Bremen in the previous round.

Leverkusen, with coach Roger Schmidt banned for two matches following a verbal attack on his Hoffenheim counterpart in their 3-0 weekend home league loss, struck after 26 minutes when Kevin Volland fired home despite the attentions of two defenders.

The visitors were lucky to keep the lead when a Lotte effort was controversially ruled offside minutes later, but the hosts scored right after the break when Leverkusen's Roberto Hilbert, completely alone, deflected a harmless cross into his own goal.

Lotte's Tim Wendel was then sent off before Volland struck again in the first half of extra time with a close-range volley.

However, the home side refused to give up and came back once more through Kevin Freiberger's equaliser before keeping their cool to claim a famous victory in the penalty shootout.

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