Berlin: VfB Stuttgart's Kevin Grosskreutz and Mitchell Langerak lost against their former club Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the German cup on Tuesday, and Bayer Leverkusen's curse against Werder Bremen continued in the other game.
Visiting Dortmund won 3-1 in Stuttgart as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored one and set up Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to hand Stuttgart a first defeat after five wins in all competititions. Lukas Rupp got a temporary equalizer.
Grosskreutz left Dortmund after the past season and joined Stuttgart last month. Langerak went to Stuttgart in summer but sustained a grave pre-season injury and played his first official match Tuesday.
Santiago Garcia, a penalty from veteran Claudio Pizarro and Florian Grillitsch reversed matters for visiting Bremen in another 3-1 scoreline after falling behind from Javier Hernandez' spot kick. Leverkusen had defender Wendell sent off.
The six-times cup winners Bremen have won all six cup matches against Leverkusen, including the 2009 final.
Dortmund had a dream start from Reus five minutes into the game in wet Stuttgart, leaving Langerak no chance after Grosskreutz was unable to prevent Aubameyang's pass from reaching Reus at the far left post.
The hosts got a 21st-minute equalizer from Rupp's 17m effort which took a slight deflection but the joy lasted only 10 minutes until Reus found Aubameyang for a low shot from the edge of the area into the left corner.
Filip Kostic and Christian Gentner came close for Stuttgart late in the game before Mkhitaryan tapped into the empty net on the counter in the 89th off Aubameyang for Dortmund's third straight semi-final berth.
"It is bitter. We didn't play badly and were punished for mistakes. It was nice to see the old faces from Dortmund again," Grosskreutz told Sky TV.
Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc said: "We should have decided the game earlier but the victory is deserved."
Coming off a 5-1 Bundesliga defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach, lowly Bremen fell befind in Leverkusen from Hernandez' 22nd-minute penalty. But Garcia levelled into the roof of the net nine minutes later, and Pizarro's penalty made it 2-1 shortly before half-time, with Wendell seeing red for bringing down Fin Bartels.
Kevin Kampl was denied an 80th-minute equalizer for fighting Leverkusen by goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald before Grillitsch settled the affair two minutes later.
"Of course we are very satisfied. The game went the way we wanted it to go. We showed that are getting closer, now we continue in the cup," the Peruvian striker Pizarro told Sky.
Leverkusen protested that Wendell was sent off while Alejandro Galvez got away with a booking ahead of Leverkusen's spot kick for his foul on Stefan Kiessling. They also lamented that Grillitsch was offside when he scored but sports director Rudi Voeller said: "we simply did't do well."
All teams wore black armbands and a minute silence was observed at both games for the victims of a collision of two trains in Bavaria Tuesday morning in which 10 people died and more than 80 were injured.
Record 17-times cup winners Munich and Hertha Berlin face trips to second-division sides VfL Bochum and Heidenheim respectively in the other quarters on Wednesday.
The draw for the April 19 and 20 semis is also on Wednesday, and the final is played May 21 in Berlin.