Second-tier Kiel ease past Essen to reach German Cup semis

Soccer Football - DFB Cup - Quarter Final - Essen v Holsten Kiel - Stadion Essen, Essen, Germany - March 3, 2021 Holstein Kiel's Alexander Muhling scores their first goal from the penalty spot Pool via REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) - Second division Holstein Kiel scored twice in three minutes to beat fourth tier Rot-Weiss Essen 3-0 on Wednesday and reach the German Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Visitors Kiel, who eliminated Bayern Munich on penalties in the second round in January, were in no mood for adventures against giant-killers Essen, who had ousted two Bundesliga teams on the way to the last eight.

Alexander Muehling put Holstein in front with a controversial 26th-minute penalty and Janni Serra tapped in a Fin Bartels assist two minutes later to take the wind out of Essen's sails.

Essen, who reached the German Cup final in 1994, struggled to create clear chances and Holstein added a third goal through substitute Joshua Mees in the final minute.

Borussia Dortmund reached the last four following Tuesday's 1-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach. RB Leipzig beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 on Wednesday to advance.

The quarter-final between Jahn Regensburg and Werder Bremen on Tuesday was postponed after a number of Regensburg players tested positive for the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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