Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund's genuine interest in this cup competition was a real catalyst for a very competitive game. For Dortmund especially, who lie 17 points off the Bundesliga pace, the DFB-Pokal represented the only real chance of earning domestic silverware from a season that appeared to promise so much back in the autumn.
Eintracht, on the other hand, have league consolidation and an Europa adventure on their agenda, but the quarterfinal stage of any cup competition tends to catch the imagination. Roared on by a typically excitable crowd at Waldstadion, there was nothing passive about their approach.
As such, the game quickly settled into a pattern of the home side trying to seize the initiative and setting the tempo while its more illustrious visitors resolved to punish them for that sheer impudence. However, while a fairly decent and exciting game always felt a whisker away, this game never truly sparked into life.
Frankfurt enjoyed most of the early possession, but failed to make Roman Weidenfeller question whether his evening could have been better spent pursuing more practical interests than sitting in the Borussia goal. The closest he came to noticing that a game was happening in the first half was when a well-positioned Sebastian Rode failed to connect with Alex Meier's driven centre.
The real threat throughout the match was the pace of the Dortmund counterattack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan looking like the most likely to do something that might pry the game open. The latter squandered the best chance of the first half following some incisive midfield passing that breached the Frankfurt lines.
As the game went on, the Dortmund midfield, with a persistently probing Nuri Sahin at its heart, started to seize control of the game. It happened gradually though, and they were given a couple of scares courtesy of Sebastian Jung's marauding presence down the Eintracht right.
It looked like a breakthrough was just a matter of time, yet the clock ticked down and Frankfurt began to revel in their role of the great frustrater. As time ebbed away, Jurgen Klopp's brow furrowed deep into his ever-narrowing eyes. Decked out in a bright yellow coat and cap combo, he was increasingly resembled one of Gru's minions.
But Dortmund eventually found the breakthrough with just seven minutes remaining. A corner from the right was flicked on at the near post and a grateful Aubameyang was unmarked at the back stick to redirect it through the motionless Rode on the line. It was no less than what Dortmund deserved for their second half pressure.
Eintracht tried to respond, but there was little left in the tank. Slinging high balls into the box was about the limit of their bluster, and they never looked likely to land a blow on Dortmund, who progressed into the semifinals with a reasonable amount of authority in a keenly-contested game.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp, Jung, Zambrano, Madlung, Djakpa, Russ, Rode, Flum, Meier, Aigner, Kadlec (Rosenthal 45')
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Friedrich, Sokratis, Schmelzer, Sahin, Kehl, Aubameyang (Schieber 90'), Mkhitaryan (Hofmann 90'), Grosskreutz, Lewandowski
Goals: Aubameyang (83')