No cup final for Flekken and Freiburg after painful defeat against RB Leipzig
Freiburg failed to reach the final of the German Cup tournament again. RB Leipzig – which won the cup last year by beating Freiburg in the final battle – was already too strong in the semifinals this year. Much too strong.
The visitors surprisingly won by wide margins (5-1), with a starring role for striker Dani Olmo who scored and provided three assists.
Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who is in his 12th season as head coach, spoke beforehand of an “exceptional situation. After all, the club is on the rise. Where Freiburg was a middle man for seasons, the team is now fourth (shared third) in the Bundesliga and Champions League soccer is within reach. Even RB Leipzig (fifth) is ahead of Freiburg.
On Tuesday night – during the semi-final in the DFB-Pokal – there was absolutely no sign of that. Within fifteen minutes, Streich, who regularly erupted in anger along the line, saw that Dutch goalkeeper Mark Flekken had already passed twice.
Olmo headed in a measured cross from Marcel Halstenberg after thirteen minutes. Less than two minutes later Leipzig, taking advantage of ball loss by the Freiburgers, doubled the score through Benjamin Henrichs. He cashed in on a graceful pass from Olmo.
Freiburg made a change, but still couldn’t make a fist against Leipzig (and especially Olmo). The Spanish striker was elusive and even before halftime assisted Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku who scored the third and fourth goals respectively.
Freiburg was also unable to do much at the beginning of the second half. Leipzig pulled back and cherished the 4-0 lead. After a red card for Leipzig defender Joško Gvardiol, he pulled down a broken player, Freiburg got more space in the last half hour.
That actually led to a goal fifteen minutes before time. A ready-made cross from Roland Sallai was headed in by striker Michael Gregoritsch. Despite the goal, an exciting final stage did not take place. In fact, just before the final whistle Szoboszlai converted a penalty kick: 5-1.
Next weekend Freiburg and Leipzig face each other again, then the fourth (or even third) place in the league is the stake.