Bayer Leverkusen reached 30 games unbeaten in all competitions this season with a 3-2 comeback win over Stuttgart to reach the German Cup semifinals Tuesday.
Jonathan Tah’s 90th-minute header won the game and spared Xabi Alonso’s team extra time ahead of a league game Saturday against title rival Bayern Munich. On the sideline, Alonso jumped and punched the air in celebration.
Leverkusen had twice recovered from a goal down. Stuttgart took the lead at a corner when Waldemar Anton got away from his marker Edmond Tapsoba and headed in at the far post. Midfielder Robert Andrich leveled the score early in the second half with a curling shot from around 20 meters (yards) into the top-right corner.
Chris Führich restored Stuttgart’s lead in a move that began when Andrich gave away the ball, but Amine Adli leveled again for Leverkusen on the break from a through ball from Florian Wirtz, who also assisted Tah’s winner. It was the third time in Leverkusen’s last five games that it won a on a goal scored in the 90th minute or stoppage time.
Both teams were left with questions over the refereeing, as Andrich was lucky to escape a second yellow card for a heavy tackle in which he stepped on Enzo Millot’s foot.
Leverkusen was aggrieved when Stuttgart’s Hiroki Ito brought down Jeremie Frimpong with a slide tackle in the box. The referee and video review opted not to give a penalty, even though Ito didn’t seem to make any contact with the ball.
The win keeps alive the chance at a league and cup double for Leverkusen, a team sometimes dubbed “Neverkusen” for its historic tendency to fall just short of winning trophies. Leverkusen’s last trophy was the German Cup in 1993.
Leverkusen joins second-division teams Fortuna Duesseldorf and Kaiserslautern in the semifinals. Top-division Borussia Moenchengladbach plays third-tier Saarbruecken for the last spot on Wednesday.
The stadium briefly fell silent as a fan was treated after falling from a stand. The person was conscious, Leverkusen said.