Giant-killers Saarbrücken ready for ‘game of the century’ in German cup

Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt and Gladbach have fallen in third-tier club’s fairytale run to DFB-Pokal semi-final

“We’re calling it the Jahrhundertspiel,” Kai Brünker says over the phone from Saarbrücken. “The game of the century. A big game, a derby, and it’s in a cup semi‑final. Everybody is speaking about it. You go to the bakery, people are speaking about it. You go into the city, you go for a walk, and people are saying: ‘You have to win against ’Slautern!’”
For the Saarbrücken coach, Rüdiger Ziehl, the reminder that this is no ordinary week comes with the constant pinging of his phone from friends and casual acquaintances pestering him for a ticket. On Tuesday night the third-division side from the very west of Germany, pinned right up against the French border, will write the next chapter in one of the most remarkable stories anywhere in European football this season.

The continent rejoiced in unison when Saarbrücken knocked out Bayern Munich in the second round of the DFB-Pokal in November. But pretty much nobody expected what happened next: a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the last 16, before Borussia Mönchengladbach were beaten by a 93rd-minute winner from Brünker this month.

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