Witsel, Reus score late as Dortmund win in German Cup

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Dortmund's new signing Alex Witsel holds a smartphone during his official photo opportunity for Borussia Dortmund. (Ina Fassbender/AP)

BERLIN — Axel Witsel scored a dramatic equalizer on his debut and Marco Reus got the late winner as Borussia Dortmund beat Greuther Fuerth 2-1 in the German Cup on Monday.

Dortmund was on the verge of a first-round exit at the hands of the second-division club before Belgium midfielder Witsel – who had come on with just 15 minutes remaining – scored in the fifth minute of injury time to send the game to extra time. Reus then followed up with his own injury-time winner.

Dortmund, the 2017 champion, had failed to impress in Lucien Favre’s first competitive game in charge, and it paid the price when Sebastian Ernst scored late for Fuerth.

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Witsel, who joined Dortmund from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, was set up by Reus, who was the beneficiary of Jadon Sancho’s incisive play for the winner – after goalkeeper Roman Buerki denied Fuerth’s Fabian Reese in a one-on-one.

Fuerth coach Damir Buric missed the game due to a family bereavement.

Earlier, Freiburg needed penalties to get past third-division Energie Cottbus. Tim Kruse missed the decisive spot kick as the Bundesliga side won 5-3.

Hertha Berlin won 2-1 at Eintracht Braunschweig and Paderborn enjoyed a 2-1 win over Ingolstadt.

Defending champion Eintracht Frankfurt was knocked out at the first hurdle by Ulm on Saturday, when Bayern Munich struggled to overcome fourth-tier SV Drochtersen/Assel 1-0.

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