Berlin, June 4 (IANS) Second-half goals from Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szaboszlai helped Leipzig defend the German Cup title after seeing off Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 in the final.
Titleholders Leipzig caught a bright start at sold-out Berlin Olympia stadium and came close with only four minutes played when Timo Werner’s shot from 13 meters tested Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp on Saturday night.
The Eagles needed some time to gain a foothold into the encounter and produced their first clear-cut opportunity in the 17th minute as Kolo Muani rattled the side netting from a tight angle following a fast break.
Frankfurt increased the pressure, but it was Leipzig, who posed more danger in front of the target as Konrad Laimer teed up for Nkunku, whose low shot went just wide in the 42nd minute.
Oliver Glasner’s boys piled on the pressure after the restart but couldn’t do damage to Leipzig’s well-organized defence, Xinhua reported.
The Eagles had to wait until the hour mark before Mario Gotze’s volley forced Leipzig custodian Janus Blaswich into action.
Although Frankfurt was on front foot, it was Leipzig who broke the deadlock out of the blue as Nkunku danced through Frankfurt’s territory before beating Trapp with a deflected effort from close range in the 71st minute.
Frankfurt’s resistance was broken, whereas the Bulls gained momentum and made it two in the 85th minute after Nkunku’s square pass found Szoboszlai, who drilled the ball past Trapp to seal the deal.
“It is the second title for us. It is always great to win here. We are happy and will enjoy the moment. We didn’t take a lot of risks in the first half as Frankfurt is a great team,” said Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer.
“We played very well but in finals little details make the difference. At the end it was a deflected ball that initiated our defeat but also the lack of power to turn things around,” said Frankfurt team captain Sebastian Rode.