RB Leipzig vs 1. FC Union Berlin

German DFB Pokal, Semi-finals

RB Leipzig vs 1. FC Union

German DFB Pokal, Semi-finals

Wed., 20. April 2022, 20:45 Uhr
Red Bull Arena
2 : 1
SR: Dr. Felix Brych

Heartbreak for Union in last minute

Match report

1. FC Union Berlin's DFB Pokal adventure came to an end at the Zentralstadion in Leipzig after a last-minute winner from substitute Emil Forsberg.

The Swede headed Domenico Tedesco's side into the final in additional time after Andre Silva had equalised following a VAR check and penalty kick award.

Union had gone into a 25th-minute lead through Sheraldo Becker as the Köpenick side put in a brave performance.

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi, Simakan, Angelino, Orban, Szoboszlai (Forsberg 60), Nkunku, Olmo, Laimer, Gvardiol (Halstenberg 89), Silva (Poulsen 89), Henrichs

1. FC Union Berlin: Rönnow; Trimmel, Oczipka, Jaeckel, Knoche, Baumgartl; Prömel, Khedira, Haraguchi (Schäfer 64); Becker (Michel 78), Awoniyi (Voglsammer 78)

Urs Fischer made two changes from the side, which defeated Eintracht Frankfurt In the Bundesliga on Sunday. The captain Christopher Trimmel returned for Julian Ryerson at right-back, while Bastian Oczipka was given the nod at left-back in place of Niko Gießelmann. It was a composed start from Union at the Zentralstadion with the home fans pushing to get behind their team early doors. Rani Khedira broke up a bit of play after four minutes, which led to a promising Union break but Grischa Prömel’s pass was slightly over-cooked. With a front combination of Christopher Nkunku, Andre Silva and Dani Olmo, Leipzig were always going to have their moments. Silva whipped in a dangerous cross to give Nkunku a touch in the box but the French striker fired across goal and wide. Fischer’s side found joy from passes in behind the Leipzig defensive line, with skipper Trimmel illustrating again his great quality from wide. His corner on 14 minutes led to a scrappy break of the ball, but Prömel could only shoot high into the side of the net. The Austrian delivered the crucial assist to put Union into the lead after 25 minutes and send the 7,000-and-more Unioner into raptures. Taiwo Awoniyi laid the ball out to Trimmel and he fired a wonderful cross into Becker’s path at the back-post, the Dutchman making absolutely no mistake from close range. On 32 minutes, Trimmel picked out Becker again in behind Leipzig’s Josip Gvardiol but the Croatian managed to make a vital intervention. A massive opportunity fell to Leipzig on 37 minutes when Nkunku charged in behind from the left, set up Portuguese striker Silva but somehow he didn’t even manage to hit the target from six yards out.

With 45 minutes to book a final spot in Berlin against Freiburg, the second half was expectedly tense. Captain Orban headed wide for Leipzig two minutes into the half after a cross from Benjamin Henrichs. At the other end, it was still Union's full-backs who were delivering real quality into the danger area - Trimmel for one heading Oczipka's cross at Gulacsi on 49 minutes. A second goal would have made all the difference for Fischer's side and given Union a comfortable cushion to see out the game. Awoniyi was inches away from scoring on 56 minutes when Becker fired the ball across the face of goal. Leipzig were able to equalise on the hour after Felix Brych consulted with the video assistant referee to award a spot-kick against Paul Jaeckel. Silva took no chances with the kick and fired straight down the middle to equalise. The tie was still there for Union to win despite the setback but tired legs would mean every mistake could punish the team. On 69 minutes, Awoniyi's shot was blocked after great work from Becker and Oczipka. Becker and substitute Andras Schäfer combined in a tight space but Prömel's effort was deflected wide of the target. Paul Jaeckel's pass put Awoniyi through on 71 minutes but under pressure the striker shot wide of the target. Sven Michel and Andreas Voglsammer came into Union's attack for Becker and Awoniyi after 78 minutes. Michel threatened with his guile and creativity but Leipzig were always in good positions to clear. On 86 minutes, a corner was cleared as far as Michel at the edge of the box but it was deflected wide. The pressure was ramped up at the other end as Yussuf Poulsen entered the fray for Leipzig. In stoppage time, Timo Baumgartl miraculously cleared Angelino's shot off the line. But Union couldn't hold out for extra time as Forsberg headed Leipzig to victory in the second minute of stoppage time.

Leipzig stands in the way of cup final

Match preview

1. FC Union Berlin will head to Leipzig on Wednesday night with an opportunity to reach the DFB Pokal final for the first time since 2001.

Review – The last match:

1. FC Union Berlin secured a 13th Bundesliga victory of the campaign at home to Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. Urs Fischer's side produced a magnificent first-half performance which saw goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Grischa Prömel, which claimed all three points for the Köpenick club. Awoniyi pushed clear of the Frankfurt defence to shoot home on 17 minutes before Prömel's wonderful long-range strike on 21 minutes made it two. A third goal was more likely but Union were unable to take advantage of those opportunities. Jens Petter Hauge was denied by Frederik Rönnow before the break, and that was as tense as it looked for the Danish goalkeeper through the second half.

Leipzig – Opposition Report:

Domenico Tedesco's side are competing on three remaining fronts this season. It's the Köpenick club who stand in the way of a first appearance in the flagship final in Berlin. A victory over Atalanta has set up a UEFA Europa League semi-final contest with Scottish champions Rangers with Leipzig firm favourites to reach the final. The nine-point gap to second-placed Borussia Dortmund looks to big to bridge at this point in the Bundesliga, but Leipzig are getting closer to securing UEFA Champions League qualification. Leipzig's last defeat was at Bayern Munich – that's 9 games in league business without a loss. After beating Dortmund 4-1 at Signal Iduna Park, Leipzig went on to beat Hoffenheim 3-0 and then secured a 1-0 win at Leverkusen, just three days off the back of the quarter-final Europa League success in Italy.  

Leipzig – The coach's view:

Urs Fischer said: "If you look at results, Dortmund won, in Leverkusen, at home to Hoffenheim, in Bergamo in Europe, they are really good. Very stable organisation, very compact. Work hard for each other. They do that really well. Individual quality with match-winning players. With the ball they are very accurate, good balance between playing through defences or going in behind. Lots of pace to go in behind. We need an optimal day to get the surprise result."


Urs Fischer said there was mostly a clean bill of health following Sunday's win. Julian Ryerson suffered some cramp but he has recovered. "Andreas Luthe needs to be at 100% to be a contender for the squad. We're working on that," added Fischer.


Red and loud – Union's sections inside the Zentralstadion will be packed with all fans given the opportunity to buy special DFB Pokal semi-final hoodies. 

No further vaccine checks will be needed at the stadium in Leipzig. There is also no mandatory mask regulations in place.

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RB Leipzig vs 1. FC Union Berlin

68 % Possession 32 %
87 % Pass Completion Rate 67 %
53 % Successful Tackle Rate 47 %
10 Shots on Goal 11
12 Crosses 16
2 Caught Offside 1
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Yellow-Red Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Last match

Date Home Result Away