BERLIN, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Ante Rebic's second-half hat rick helped Eintracht Frankfurt to avoid a disgraceful first-round exit against third-division side Waldhof Mannheim in the German Cup on Sunday.
Hosts Mannheim secured a fairy-tale start on home soil as Valmir Sulejmani capitalized on a square pass from Maurice Deville to tap home the opener with three minutes into the game.
Top-flight side Frankfurt tried to respond but Waldhof Mannhof remained on the front foot and doubled their advantage in the 11th minute when Valmir Sulejmani shrugged off Martin Hinteregger to slot home into the near post corner from the edge of the box.
Up to that point, Adi Hutter's men staged an uninspired performance and failed to pose any threat.
However, things changed out of the blue as Daichi Kamada hammered home a rebound from 10 meters to reduce the arrears in the 21st minute.
As the match progressed, Frankfurt assumed control and were able to restore parity before the break after Filip Kostic unleashed a long-range effort to make it 2-2.
Despite giving away a two-goal lead, Waldhof Mannheim kept it bowling and were rewarded in the 73rd minute when Jan-Hendrik Marx completed a counterattack by drilling the ball from 25 meters into the back of the net.
Frankfurt responded very well and made it three-all draw only moments later after Ante Rebic benefitted on a blocked shot to poke home the equalizer from close range.
Both teams threw everything up front with chances at both ends of the pitch but Frankfurt had the last laugh as Ante Rebic made the most of Kostic build-up play to poke home the 4-3 lead in the 82nd minute.
Rebic remained in the thick of things as he wrapped up his hattrick, and the victory, after dancing through Mannheim's defence and finishing off from inside the box six minutes later.
Elsewhere, Leipzig progressed into the second round as well after beating resilient Osnabruck 3-2. Union Berlin crushed Germania Halberstadt 6-0 and Hertha Berlin moved 5-1 past Eichstatt.