HSV defeated in semi-final

HSV were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal semi-final by Bundesliga side RB Leipzig despite a determined performance. Bakery Jatta scored Die Rothosen’s only goal of the game.

On Tuesday evening, HSV’s cup journey came to an end after they were defeated 3-1 by RB Leipzig. The third-placed top flight side took the lead through Youssuf Poulsen (12’) before being pegged back thanks to a fantastic Bakery Jatta goal in the 24th minute. In the second half, the away side showed their quality and opened up a two goal lead. Vasilije Janjicic’s own goal in the 53rd minute was followed by a strike from Emil Forsberg 19 minutes later, which proved to be the final goal of the game. Die Rothosen gave it everything and their efforts were rightly acknowledged by the crowd of over 50,000 at full time.

A fascinating first half…

Head coach Hannes Wolf made three changes to the side which faced FC Erzgebirge Aue on Saturday. Berkay Özcan dropped out of the squad whilst Gotoku Sakai and Manuel Wintzheimer were named on the bench. Josha Vagnoman, Gideon Jung and Pierre-Michel Lasogga returned to the starting XI in their place.

In addition to the personnel changes, Wolf also made some tactical adjustments. His players adopted a flexible 3-5-2 system which became a 5-4-1 formation when out of possession. The head coach’s decision looked to be a wise one, as Die Rothosen began the game aggressively and remained secure against any Leipzig attacks. However, the visitors recorded the opening goal through a set-piece, as Youssuf Poulsen met a Leipzig corner and headed home in the twelfth minute. Just four minutes later, the visitors had the chance to double their lead but Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer both struck the post in quick succession and HSV remained in the game. In the 24th minute, the home side found an equaliser. Bakery Jatta pressed high up the field and forced Kevin Kampl into a mistake, stole possession and after spotting Peter Gulacsi off his line, audaciously lobbed the Leipzig goalkeeper from around 30 metres. It was a fantastic show of determination and skill from the Gambian and lit up the Volksparkstadion. Spurred on by the brilliant support, Die Rothosen gave a gritty performance for the rest of the half to keep the ball away from their own goal and look for a second. Winger Khaled Narey had a chance to fire HSV into the lead, but needed just a little bit more luck and couldn’t find the net with his two efforts, and the two sides went into half time with nothing to split them. 

… and the visitors dominant in the second.

After the break, Hamburg continued to defend courageously and the home fans were behind them every minute. However, in the 53rd minute the visitors regained their lead, as Vasilije Janjicic’s attempted clearance from Poulsen’s cross ended up in the HSV goal. However, Die Rothosen dealt with the setback well and managed to keep Leipzig at bay. As a result, much of the game was played in the centre of the field and scoring opportunities were limited at both ends of the field.

Emil Forsberg had the chance to increase the lead, but struck the crossbar with his effort in the 69th minute. Three minutes later, the Swede had another chance and this time converted successfully. From the edge of the area, Forsberg fired home into the bottom corner and the visitors led by two. HSV lacked the means to turn around a two goal deficit, and the Bundesliga side showed their quality. The visitors were clever in their play and saw out the victory in a calm fashion. A committed Hamburg performance was worthy of praise, but the quality of the opponents proved too much and saw Leipzig advance to the final, which will be held in Berlin on 25th May.

Match facts:

Hamburger SV: Pollersbeck - Lacroix, Janjicic (73‘ Hunt), van Drongelen - Jatta, Jung, Mangala (79’ Holtby), Douglas, Vagnoman (69’ Hwang) - Narey, Lasogga

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi - Klostermann, Konaté, Orban, Halstenberg - Laimer, Kampl (90‘ Demme) - Sabitzer (90‘ Haidara), Forsberg (73‘ Mukiele) - Y. Poulsen, Ti. Werner

Goals: 0-1 Poulsen (12‘), 1-1 Jatta (24‘), 1-2 Janjicic (OG, 53‘), 1-3 Forsberg (72‘)

Attendance: 52,365

Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (München)

Yellow cards: - / Orban (58‘)