Max Kruse scored the decisive penalty kick for Bremen to win the shootout 4-2 after equalizers from Claudio Pizarro and Martin Harnik secured a 3-3 draw after extra time. American midfielder Christian Pulisic thought he'd scored the winner for Dortmund in the 105th after he played a one-two with Paco Alcacer, only for the veteran Pizarro to reply three minutes later.
Then Achraf Hakimi put the home side back in front, but Kruse set up Harnik in the 119th to take it to the shootout. Dortmund goalkeeper Eric Oelschlaegel made his debut against his former club, but the 23-year-old had to pick the ball out of his net after just five minutes when Milot Rashica deflected in Kruse's cross.
Dortmund captain Marco Reus replied with a free kick in first-half injury time, but it looked like Oelschlaegel — who was only playing due to an illness affecting Roman Buerki and backup goalkeeper Marwin Hitz — would have a decisive role after making two sensational saves to keep the visitors at bay.
Instead it was Pavlenka who starred in the shootout, saving efforts from Palcacer and Maximilian Philipp. Earlier, Bayer Leverkusen was upset 2-1 at second-division side Heidenheim despite taking the lead through Julian Brandt.
Second-division leader Hamburger SV won 1-0 at home against Bundesliga struggler Nuremberg, and Paderborn won 3-1 at Duisburg.
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