Hamburg 1-3 Freiburg: Streich's men reach first-ever cup final after phenomenal first-half display

By Sports Desk April 19, 2022

Freiburg reached the DFB-Pokal final for the first time in their history with a 3-1 semi-final win at second-tier Hamburg.

Goals from Nils Petersen, Nicolas Hofler, and Vincenzo Grifo fired Freiburg into a commanding half-time lead as the visitors produced a scintillating counter-attacking display.

The Bundesliga's third-best defensive outfit then held on comfortably after the break, despite Robert Glatzel providing a late consolation for the hosts, and Freiburg will meet either RB Leipzig or Union Berlin in next month's final.

11 years after first joining the visitors, head coach Christian Streich continues to make history, with Freiburg's dreams of cup glory and a top-four Bundesliga finish remaining in their sights.  

Hamburg fell behind after just 11 minutes when Petersen headed home after a goalmouth scramble, with a quick VAR check ascertaining Roland Sallai was not interfering with play.

That goal gave Freiburg a huge boost, and they doubled their lead within five minutes when Hofler's long-range strike cannoned off Sebastien Schonlau and into the roof of the net.

Hamburg almost responded when Anssi Suhonen forced a save from Mark Flekken, but were out of the contest after 35 minutes when the VAR awarded Freiburg a bizarre penalty, with Vincenzo Grifo smashing home from the spot after Moritz Heyer clumsily kicked Nico Schlotterbeck in the neck.

Suhonen had a cool finish ruled out in a marginal offside call as Hamburg's nightmare half drew to a close, before Sallai rippled the side netting with a fierce strike shortly after the break.

The 2.Bundesliga team took the game to Freiburg in the second half, with Sonny Kittel's deflected volley drawing a decent save from Flekken after 67 minutes.

Hamburg were finally rewarded for their improvement when Glatzel nodded a consolation goal after 87 minutes, and Freiburg's Ermedin Demirovic struck a post from range as the visitors claimed a historic win.

What does it mean? Fantastic Freiburg reach new heights

Freiburg had never previously reached the German domestic cup final, losing to Stuttgart on their only previous semi-final appearance in 2013. 

Streich's men, however, will compete for their first major trophy in May's final, and could beat their highest-ever Bundesliga finish of fifth (in 2012-13) as they continue to chase a top-four spot.

Cup hero Petersen sets the tone

With a packed Volksparkstadion producing a boisterous atmosphere, Freiburg needed an early goal to quell any nerves, and got one through Petersen's header. The 33-year-old has now scored 12 in the competition, with no other player scoring more (Alexander Iashvilli also has 12).

Visitors make fast start count

After putting their hosts to the sword before the break, Freiburg have now scored six first-half goals in their four DFB-Pokal games this season, with only RB Leipzig scoring as many in the competition.

Streich's team also became just the second to hit three first-half goals in an away DFB-Pokal semi-final. Bayern Munich are the other team to do so at Schalke in 1984.

What's next?

Hamburg will look to revive their slim hopes of promotion from the 2.Bundesliga at Jahn Regensburg on Saturday, while Freiburg host Borussia Monchengladbach on the same day.

Related items

  • Eve eager to see overseas-based players in action against Jamaica; expected to select squad for Canada fixture after friendlies Eve eager to see overseas-based players in action against Jamaica; expected to select squad for Canada fixture after friendlies

    Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve has included two new overseas-based players in a 26-member squad to face Jamaica in a two-match friendly series this weekend.

    The two games to be held Friday and Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, are being used to help Eve finalise his Soca Warriors squad for the Copa America playoff against Canada, on March 23, while the Jamaicans are also in preparation mode of their Concacaf Nations League semi-final clash with United States, scheduled for March 21.

    Kick off for the friendly encounters are scheduled for 3:00pm and 4:00pm Trinidad and Tobago time.

    Canadian League One midfielder Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers FC) and English League Two forward Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), are the overseas-based players called up by Eve, with Jamaica-based forward Nathaniel James, midfielder Kaile Auvray (both of Mount Pleasant) and defender Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay Utd), also included.

    Also breaking into the senior team is in-form Under-20 forward Michael Chaves (QPCC), who just concluded their Concacaf Championship campaign on Tuesday.

    Uncapped players such as Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Rhondel Gibson (Eagles FC), Liam Burns (AC Port of Spain) and Kai Moos (Club Sando) were also selected.

    The remaining players all hail from the Trinidad and Tobago Premier Football League (TTPFL) tier one and includes regulars such as Duane Muckette, John-Paul Rochford, Nathaniel Garcia, Michel Poon Angeron, Denzil Smith and Christopher Bigette among others.

    Eve is expecting players to give of their best, especially with spots on the line for the Copa America playoff.

    “We had a mini camp over the Carnival period where we saw some new players and we wanted to see them in a real match environment, and now this is an opportunity for them to get proper match practice so we could see them play. We have some new players. Unfortunately, some of them got injured in the last couple games in the TTPFL matches so they’re not here right now," Eve shared.

    The Soca Warriors play Canada on March 23, at the Toyota Stadium in Texas, with the winner to progress to Copa America Group A, alongside FIFA World Cup champions Argentina, two-time champions Peru and Chile.

    Eve expressed pleasure with the continued expansion of his talent pool continues to grow. He also expressed gratitude to former national coaches Dennis Lawrence and Stephen Hart for their role in getting Obikwu and Garvey on board.

    “When these types of coaches recommend people, you must take a look at them. We’ve seen tapes of them, and this is our opportunity to see them live,” said Eve.

    Meanwhile, Friday’s game will be closed to fans due to a setup being done at the venue for Carifta trials this weekend. However, spectators can view Sunday’s match at Larry Gomes Stadium at a cost of $50.

    Both Games can be seen on SportsMax and SportsMax 2.

    Trinidad and Tobago Squad -Denzil Smith (Club Sando), Adrian Foncette (Police FC), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force), Alvin Jones (Police FC), Jamal Jack (Club Sando), Justin Garcia (Defence Force), Robert Primus (Police FC), Josiah Trimmingham (Montego Bay FC), Shervohnez Hamilton (Club Sando), Ross Russell Jr (La Horquetta Rangers), Duane Muckette (AC PoS), John-Paul Rochford (ACPoS), Justin Sadoo (Defence Force), Kaile Auvrau (Mount Pleasant), Kai Moos (Club Sando), Kevon Goddard (Defence Force), Liam Burns (AC PoS), Nathaniel Garcia (Defence Force), Michel Poon Angeron (AC PoS), Kai Garvey (Simcoe County Rovers), Rhondel Gibson (Club Sando), Kaihim Thomas (Defence Force), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant), Jem Gordon (1976 Phoenix FC), Justin Obikwu (Coventry City), Michael Chaves (QPCC)

  • Stefano Pioli urging Milan to be more ruthless as they chase second-placed Juve Stefano Pioli urging Milan to be more ruthless as they chase second-placed Juve

    Stefano Pioli called for his AC Milan side to be more “cynical” in front of goal ahead of their Serie A trip to Lazio as they look to turn the heat up on second-placed Juventus.

    Milan were held to a 1-1 home draw by Atalanta in their last fixture – having lost to Monza and Rennes in their previous two matches – leaving them four points behind Juve in the Serie A standings and just five ahead of in-form Bologna in fourth pace.

    The Rossoneri will now be eager to get back to winning ways against Lazio on Friday and coach Pioli wants his side’s performance to be consistent, calling for additional cutting edge up front.

    “We want to produce the same performance as last week whilst aiming for a different result,” Pioli said on his club’s website.

    “We analysed the positives after Atalanta but also tried to understand why we couldn’t score one more than them because we had the chance to. We need to be more cynical”.

    Lazio have lost three of their last five Serie A matches, winning the other two, and will also be keen to get back on track after surrendering a half-time lead to lose 2-1 at Fiorentina last time out.

    That was the second time in three matches Lazio have ended up empty-handing after taking the lead, and left them eighth in the table, eight points off the top four.

    Pioli believes Maurizio Sarri’s “motivated” team will bring the fight to them at the Stadio Olimpico, where Lazio are playing only their second home match in six league outings.

    Pioli also ruled out resting any of his players ahead of next week’s Europa League last-16 first leg at home to Sparta Prague.

    “They (Lazio) are a team with great quality that comes off the back of an unsatisfactory performance,” said Pioli.

    “They will be motivated but can also be thrown off by playing with intensity. The game against Slavia Prague will be very important, we are studying them but are fully focused on Lazio.

    “Then we will have an almost full week, there won’t be changes in Rome in order to rest players. I believe that both sides will try to play with different ideas. The midfield battles will be very important”.

    While Milan will still hold hope of overhauling Juve in second spot, Pioli concedes that city rivals Inter are unlikely to be caught by any team.

    Runaway leaders Inter sit 12 points at the top of the table having won 22 of their 26 matches this season, losing just once and conceding only 12 goals.

    Pioli said: “I think that the top spot in the league is decided, Inter are recording incredible numbers as Napoli did last year.

    “April 21 (Milan derby) is too far away. We have a big game ahead of us and there are various goals to meet before we think about the derby.”

  • Luis Enrique says Paris St Germain can be stronger for Kylian Mbappe departure Luis Enrique says Paris St Germain can be stronger for Kylian Mbappe departure

    Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique insists they will have a better team next season even after the expected departure of star forward Kylian Mbappe.

    It is understood the 25-year-old France international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has told the club he wants to join Real Madrid this summer, a move which has been touted for a number of years.

    “It doesn’t cross my mind that the team will be weaker next season. I’m absolutely sure,” Enrique told a press conference ahead of Friday’s match against Mbappe’s former club Monaco.

    “If everything goes well, I think and I’m convinced that we’ll have a better team next season.

    “Me, I always want to try to improve the team and I think there is always a way to improve.”

    PSG, who have an 11-point advantage at the top over Brest, have lost just once in Ligue 1 this season – back in September and are on course for a 10th title in the last 12 years.

    “I am very happy with all the efforts we made, with the results we obtained,” added Enrique.

    “We are following a very good trajectory. Now we are entering a difficult period, the key period, the best of the season.

    “It’s all or nothing, and it’s a feeling we love. We have to continue to be true to our idea, to what got us here, to try to dominate the matches from the start.

    “We don’t need to improve the general idea, but we need to improve the details.”

    While Monaco are currently third they are 13 points behind and have lost six times this season, including four at home.

    “Monaco are one of the best teams in the league and a direct competitor of ours in the title race,” said the PSG boss.

    “We know that we’ve got a tough game ahead of us tomorrow, so we’ll put out a highly competitive side.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.