Leipzig beats Freiburg 5-1, storms back to German Cup final
FREIBURG, Germany (AP) — Dani Olmo steered defending champion Leipzig back to the German Cup final on Tuesday in a 5-1 semifinal win over Freiburg in a repeat of last year’s decider.
Olmo scored one goal and set up three more in a ruthlessly efficient first half from the visitors, who now await the winner between Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt in the other semifinal. The final is scheduled for June 3 in Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
Leipzig needed penalties to win its first title with a win over Freiburg last May, but there was little question of similar excitement on Tuesday as the visitors raced into an early lead.
Leipzig stunned the home team with two early goals in two minutes. Marcel Halstenberg crossed for Olmo to head the opener in the 13th, then Olmo played Benjamin Henrichs in to make it 2-0 in the 15th.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich got Italian midfielder Vincenzo Grifo to warm up as the visitors continued to ping the ball around his disorganized team.
Freiburg improved with Grifo’s introduction but Olmo sent Dominik Szoboszlai in for the visitors’ third goal in the 36th.
Michael Gregoritsch fired just wide in response, illustrating the difference between the teams. It seemed Leipzig could score with every chance.
There was still time before the break for Olmo to find Christopher Nkunku for Leipzig’s fourth.
The visitors maintained control until Josko Gvardiol was sent off in the 58th as the last defender for bringing down Roland Sallai.
Tempers flared with around 20 minutes remaining when Leipzig substitute André Silva indicated he was struck by a coin from the Freiburg fans. A group of supporters crossed barricades and threatened to storm the field until Freiburg players managed to calm the situation.
Gregoritsch finally pulled one back in the 75th, but Szoboszlai had the final say with a penalty in injury time.
The teams meet again in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Stuttgart and Frankfurt play on Wednesday.
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The Associated Press