RB Leipzig have reached the final of the DFB-Pokal once again, beating 1. FC Union Berlin at home (2-1). They will face fellow Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg in the final in Berlin on 21st May (20:00 CEST).
Union looked on track to advance to the final for the second time since 2001 after Sheraldo Becker put them ahead in the 25th minute. The hosts managed to turn things around in the second half, with André Silva converting a penalty (61’) to put them level, before substitute Emil Forsberg headed in the winner in the dying seconds of injury time (90’+3).
A soldout crowd of 47,069 fans packing into the Red Bull Arena to watch Union take on Leipzig. The guests sat back in the opening minutes, preferring to let Leipzig control the pace of the game, all while waiting for their chance to counter. The first big chance of the match saw goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi parry a corner into the path of FCU’s Grischa Prömel, as he sent a shot into the side netting (15’).
Leipzig were left calling for a penalty in the 19th minute after a foul on Benjamin Henrichs, but the midfielder was caught just offside in the build-up. Instead, it was Union who would go on to take the lead after a stunning assist from Christopher Trimmel. His flat delivery from the right wing curved its way through the box and found Becker at the far post, as he slotted home the opener (25’). It was the first goal that Leipzig had conceded in the cup this season.
Taking the lead played right into Union’s hands, as they continued to stymie Leipzig with a solid defensive performance. A clever series of passes saw Silva curl a shot just wide from close range just before the break (37’), as Leipzig went into the break a goal down.
After the change of ends, it was the hosts who threw their full might into attack. Willi Orban sent a header just wide (48’), as Union continued to remain compact in defence. Becker cleverly played the ball forward to himself on the counter, but his square ball across the face of goal just missed a sliding Taiwo Awoniyi (57’).
Union would rue this missed chance just three minutes later, as referee Felix Brych awarded Leipzig a penalty after checking the video monitor to review a foul on Christopher Nkunku. Silva stepped up to the spot and buried the equaliser past Frederik Rönnow (61’). Both sides went on the attack in the minutes that followed, seeking to put the game to bed inside 90 minutes.
As the clock ticked over into injury time, Tino Baumgartl was fortunate to clear a shot from Angelino off the line. Just as it looked as though the match would be headed to extra time, Henrichs sent in a cross from the edge of the box, with Forsberg rising highest to head in the winner (90’+3).
With the win, Leipzig have reached the final for the third time in the last four seasons, having appeared at that stage in both 2019 and 2021. They will come up against SC Freiburg at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 21st May.