Schalke 04 who lost to Bayern Munich at this stage last season stunned the current German Cup holders with a 1-0 win to reach the German Cup final on Wednesday night and in doing so kept alive their chances of playing in Europe next season.
Schalke who are currently lying 10th in the Bundesliga, will now face second divison Duisburg in the Berlin Final in May. The winning goal was scored by veteran Spanish striker Raul.
This defeat for Bayern Munich coming on the heels of a 3-1 Bundesliga defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday means that last years double winners will probably end the nseason trophyless unlessthey can go one better in this seasons Champions League.
Their opponents Duisburg claimed their place with a 2-1 win over Energie Cottbus and they will be the first second-division club to compete in the final since 2004.
The newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich coasted to a 4-0 win over Werder Bremen in their domestic Cup Final on Saturday afternoon to add further spice to this years Champions League Final where they will meet Italian Double winners Inter Milan in a winner takes the Treble showdown.
Arjen Robben (right) opened the scoring with a first-half penalty and further goals from Ivica Olic, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger completed a comfortable win.
In a close fought final the favourites and Bulgarian League A team Beroe Stara Zagora finally overcame the plucky League B side Chernomorets Pomorie thanks to a 92nd minute goal by Doncho Atanasov.
The final was played at the Lovech Stadium (right) due to it being contested by two lesser clubs and the attendance of only 5,250 probably vindicated this decision. Whatever it was good to see a small club like Chernomorets Pomorie get their moment of glory and for Beroe it was 5th time lucky having lost in their 4 previous finals.
The Bulgarian FA will now have to decide where Beroe Stara Zagora will play their European Ties as their stadium probably wont meet UEFA standards.
CFR Cluj a one time lower league club playing in the city of Cluj Napola will be looking to win the Romanian Cup for a third successive year on 25th May when they face fellow Liga 1 team SC Vaslui. Cluj are currently six points clear in Liga one and if they do take the cup as well it will be their second League and cup double in 3 years as well as a hat trick of cups, which has broke the normal trend of the cup going to one Bucharest teams.
Cluj’s success is down to the substantial funding they received from Árpád Pászkány which started pumping sponsorship into the then 3rd division club in 2002. Prior to this funding they had only ever spent 10 seasons in the top flight in their history. There is a good article on this fairy tail rise from relative obscurity here
The Bulgarian Cup Final will be of note this year as Chernomorets Pomorie became only the second non top league club to reach the final. In the semi final Chernomorets defeated fellow League B club Kaliakra Kavarna 3-0 on penalties after the tie finished 1-1 following extra time.
In the other Semi League A team Beroe Stara Zagora, League B Chavdar Etropole 1-0 and will now be strong favourites to win the final and gain a place in next seasons Europa League.
The Final will be played on 5th May at the Lovech Stadium, which only has a capacity of 7,050 probably reflecting the expected low crowd due to the final being contested by smaller clubs.
The 2010 Bulgaria Cup semi finals are due to be played on April 28, with West B league (second division) side Chavdar Etropole taking on Beroe Stara Zagora who are currently mid table in Bulgaria A. In the other Semi Final Chernomorets Pomorie will face Kaliakra Kavarna. (both play in East B).
Ajax will take a 2-0 lead to Feyenoord for the second leg of the Dutch Cup (KNVB) after 2 early goals by Siem de Jong. Going 2-0 down inside 7 minutes demoralised Feyenoord completely and they never looked like getting back into the game. Ajax who seemed content with their lead will now be strong favourites to take the KNVB Cup when they play the second leg on 6th May.
The Final is being played over 2 legs following clashed between rival fans and away supporters have been banned from both ties. The last time the KNVB Cup was played over two legs was 1983.
As well as holding a 2-1 lead over Manchester United in the Champions League quarter final Bayern also have another chance of Silverware this season in the German Cup where they will play Werder Bremen in the Final on 15th May in Berlin. They advanced to the final beating Shalke 04 1-0 and will how be hoping for the treble as they are top of the Bundesliga. The way they are playing right now it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see them advance to the Champions League semi final given that Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney.
Amsterdam based football club Ajax had an easy passage into the Dutch KNVB Cup up final beating second division side Go Ahead Eagles 6-0. They will division rivals Feyenoord who advanced after beating league leaders FC Twente from Enschede 2-1.
This will be the teams first final meeting since 1980 when Feyenoord won 3-1 thanks largely to two goals from current Iceland assistant manager Pétur Pétursson. It should be a good final and Ajax will be hoping for another league and cup double, which they won in the 2001-2 season.