HAMBURG: Freiburg cruised into the first German Cup final in the club’s history with a 3-1 victory at second-tier Hamburg in Tuesday’s semi-final, with all their goals coming in the first half. Bundesliga side Freiburg dominated Hamburg, who have spent the last four seasons in the second division, with Nils Petersen, Nicolas Hoefler and Vincenzo Grifo scoring in the opening 35 minutes. Hamburg managed a consolation goal with two minutes left when Robert Glatzel headed in. “It’s indescribable — we’ve written history, Freiburg has never managed this before,” said Hoefler. We can still achieve a lot, I couldn’t care less who we play in the final, we just want to win it.” There will be a new German Cup winner when the final is held at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on May 21.
Neither Freiburg, nor Union Berlin and RB Leipzig who meet in Wednesday’s other semi-final, have previously lifted the trophy. Hamburg were the only club in the semi-finals to have already won the cup, with the last of their three victories coming during the fallen giants’ glory days of the 1980s. Hosts Hamburg were behind on just 11 minutes when Hoefler swung in a cross which Petersen met to score. Hoefler then smashed in a shot which deflected off Hamburg captain Sebastian Schonlau six minutes later. Hamburg rallied, with forwards Bakery Jatta and Glatzel going close. But Freiburg grabbed their third when Grifo converted a penalty after a foul on Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck. To compound Hamburg’s misery, midfielder Anssi Suhonen had a goal disallowed for offside. The game’s tempo dropped after the break as Freiburg’s defence contained Hamburg, apart from a great chance for Suhonen who dribbled through the defence before Hoefler blocked his shot. Glatzel scored a deserved late consolation for Hamburg when he headed home.