Leipzig lift first major trophy with dramatic German cup win

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RB Leipzig won their first major trophy by defeating SC Freiburg in the German Cup final on penalties after coming back from a 1-0 deficit with 10 men in regular time.

Maximilian Eggestein’s superb strike gave Freiburg the lead in the 19th minute, despite Roland Sallai’s clear handball in the buildup to the goal.

After Marcel Halstenberg was sent off for an apparent foul on Lucas Holer just before the hour mark, Leipzig were down to 10 men.

However, Christopher Nkunku equalised in the 76th minute to force the match into extra time with his 35th goal of the season in all competitions.

Near the end of extra time, Leipzig lost a second player to a red card. Kevin Kampl, who had been substituted after receiving a yellow card, was booked again for protesting when the referee denied his team’s penalty appeal.

When Christian Gunter and Ermedin Demirovic of Freiburg missed their spot-kicks in the shootout, Domenico Tedesco’s team finally got their hands on the trophy at the Olympiastadion.

Leipzig won the German Cup after losing to Bayern Munich in 2019 and Dortmund last season.

It is the first major trophy for RB Leipzig, which was founded just in 2009 and is backed by energy drink giants Red Bull.

The club is dubbed as the most hated team in Germany due to their controversial rise to the mainstream German football dominated by the traditional players like Bayern and Dortmund.

They advanced to the Bundesliga in 2016/17 after four promotions in seven years, finishing second to Bayern Munich twice in the previous six years.

Despite losing their first cup final in its 118-year history, Freiburg can take solace in qualifying for the Europa League next season by finishing sixth in the Bundesliga.

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