Four Hungarian players were set to appear at Saturday’s German Cup final. While SC Freiburg employs Roland Sallai, RB Leipzig includes Hungarian football’s perhaps biggest talent Dominik Szoboszlai, in addition to defender Willi Orban and goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi. The decider was eventually won by the latter team, who won the ‘DFB Pokal’ for the first time in its history.
Except for Szoboszlai, the three other Hungarians were appointed to the starting elevens, while Gulácsi also captained the side supported by the energy drink manufacturer. Freiburg started off the game in better shape, which culminated in a goal in the 19th minute (1-0). In fact, it was Sallai himself who has given the assist, with nothing but his hand, which went unnoticed by the referee.
RB Leipzig was also hit by an unwanted red card in the 57th minute, further deteriorating their chances. With Lepzig wishing for an equalizer, Szoboszlai also got the chance to enter the pitch in the second half – a little earlier than Leipzig managed to score after Orban’s header assist (1-1).
Sallai came off just before the final whistle, meaning he couldn’t help his team in the extra time. While Freiburg managed to reestablish dominance in the extra 30 minutes (even hitting the goal post twice), neither team managed to score anymore, sending the fixture into a penalty shootout. RB Leipzig, however, ultimately proved better in that regard, and became the team to lift the silverware in the Berlin night.
While this was Freiburg’s first time in the cup final, RB Leipzig managed to get in there for the third occasion, but only won it for the very first time, clinching the club’s first-ever major trophy in history.
Moreover, only four Hungarian players were able to previously win the German cup (Árpád Fazekas in 1957, Lajos Détári in 1988, Krisztián Lisztes in 1997 and 2004, and Tamás Hajnal in 2001 and 2002). As a result of Leipzig’s victory, this number has almost doubled by Saturday night.
“No one would have thought after sixty minutes that we would win, but the team has had fantastic composure. During the extra time the cup could have gone either way, but in the end we deserved to win. We will never forget this day. What is certain is that we will now celebrate for a few days,” Gulácsi commented after the game. “I signed with the club in 2015, and together with a number of players we have been going from the second division up to winning the cup. This moment is unbelievable!”, he added.
featured image: Gulácsi lifting up the trophy with teammates; via MTI/EPA/Friedemann Vogel