Virus-hit Wolfsburg wins to reach last 16 of German Cup

Wout Weghorst (l) of Vfl Wolfsburg celebrates with team mates (l - r) Paulo Otavio Rosa Silva, Yannick Gerhardt, Joao Victor after scoring their sides fourth goal during the DFB Cup second round match between VfL Wolfsburg and SV Sandhausen at Volkswagen Arena on December 23, 2020 in Wolfsburg, Germany.

WOLFSBURG, Germany -- Wolfsburg reached the last 16 of the German Cup with a skeleton squad in a 4-0 win over second-tier Sandhausen on Wednesday after the coronavirus and injuries ruled out 11 players.

Four Wolfsburg players missed out after positive coronavirus tests. Three more were in isolation because of close contact with their infected teammates. Coach Oliver Glasner named three reserve goalkeepers among his seven substitutes, with two of the keepers dressed as outfield players.

Those emergency replacements weren't needed as Wolfsburg cruised to a straightforward win with two goals from Wout Weghorst.

Stuttgart beat Freiburg 1-0 in the only all top-division game of the day after holding on to the lead following Sasa Kalajdzic's 15th-minute goal for the hosts. The result ends a successful 2020 for Stuttgart, which won promotion back to the Bundesliga and sits seventh in the table.

Mainz is battling against relegation from the Bundesliga and got no respite in a 3-0 loss on penalties against second-tier Bochum after extra time ended 2-2. Mainz conceded a 90th-minute equalizer and couldn't score in extra time even after Bochum had goalkeeper Manuel Riemann sent off. Facing substitute keeper Patrick Drewes in the shootout, Mainz hit its first penalty against the post, the second against the crossbar and saw the third saved.

United States striker Josh Sargent scored as Werder Bremen breezed into the last 16 with a 3-0 win over Hannover. Fourth-tier Rot-Weiss Essen won 3-1 in an upset against Fortuna Dusseldorf, which plays two divisions higher. Jahn Regensburg came through a penalty shootout 4-2 following a goalless draw with Wehen Wiesbaden.

It was the last day of games in Germany before a shortened winter break. The Bundesliga returns Jan. 2.

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