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Makkabi Berlin becomes the first Jewish team to play in the German Cup in a loss to Wolfsburg

Makkabi Berlin and Wolfsburg Makkabi Berlin and Wolfsburg - The Canadian Press

BERLIN (AP) — Makkabi Berlin set a milestone in the German Cup on Sunday when it became the first Jewish team to compete in the competition that was first played under the Nazis in 1935.

Makkabi, a fifth-tier side of office workers and other part-timers, was beaten 6-0 by Wolfsburg in their first-round match.

The home team swiftly went behind with the visitors scoring two early goals through Lukas Nmecha and Jonas Wind to dampen hopes of an upset.

But Makkabi didn’t fold against the Bundesliga team backed by car manufacturer Volkswagen, and Kanto Fitiavana Voahariniaina was unfortunate to see an apparent goal ruled out for offside.

Wolfsburg put the result beyond doubt early in the second half and would have scored more but for Makkabi goalkeeper Jack Krause, who earned the home fans’ biggest cheers. Tiago Tomás had two goals off the bench for Wolfsburg.

“I think there were one or two too many goals,” said Makkabi captain Doron Bruck, who rued Voahariniaina's canceled effort. “That was no offside. But they were better, you have to give respect. And I think we presented ourselves well.”

Bruck is one of the team's Jewish players. Although Makkabi’s Jewish identity plays a central role — the team’s crest features the Star of David — the club takes pride in being open to all, regardless of religion or background.

Makkabi, which was founded by Holocaust survivors in 1970, had already made history just by qualifying for the 64-team German Cup – by winning the Berlin Cup for the first time – to become the first Jewish club to take part. Jews were excluded when German sporting competitions were restructured by the Nazis in the 1930s.

“The game is a yearning, that there shouldn’t be anything historic about it,” Central Council of Jews in Germany leader Josef Schuster said before the game. “For 90 minutes (or more) it’s all about who wins in a fair, sporting competition – nothing more. These moments give a magic that I would wish for more often in our everyday society.”


Augsburg became the third top-division team to be knocked out in the first round after losing 2-0 to third-division Unterhaching. Augsburg's fellow Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Bochum lost their games the day before.

Last season's runner-up Eintracht Frankfurt beat Lokomotive Leipzig 7-0 in a game that was repeatedly interrupted by fans throwing pyrotechnics and other objects, leading the referee to take the teams off briefly.

Union Berlin advanced with a comfortable 4-0 win at fourth-tier team Astoria Walldorf, while second-division side Paderborn enjoyed a 7-0 rout at former Bundesliga club Energie Cottbus. Cottbus last played in the top flight in 2009 and has since slipped to the fourth.

Fifth-division Oberachern held top-tier Freiburg at bay for an hour before conceding the first goal in what finished a 2-0 win for Freiburg. Heidenheim beat Rostocker FC 8-0.

Hansa Rostock captain Markus Kolke saved all three penalties he faced in the shootout for the second division club to overcome fourth-tier team FSV Frankfurt 3-0 on penalties after their game finished 1-1 after extra time.


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