Hamburg 1 RB Leipzig 3: Poulsen and Forsberg fire visitors into DFB-Pokal final
Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg fired RB Leipzig into the DFB-Pokal for the first time in their history with a 3-1 win over Hamburg at Volksparkstadion on Tuesday.
Denmark international Poulsen opened the scoring for the Bundesliga side early on and played a key part in Vasilije Janjicic putting through his own net after Bakery Jatta equalised in the 23rd minute.
Hamburg were unable to restore parity once more as Emil Forsberg added a third for Leipzig with 18 minutes to play.
Ralf Rangnick's side will now face either Bayern Munich or Werder Bremen, who meet on Wednesday, in the final at the Olympiastadion on May 25.
Leipzig were rewarded for a fast start as Poulsen profited from some slack defending to guide Marcel Halstenberg's corner past Julian Pollersbeck from eight yards in the 12th minute.
The hosts should have been two goals behind within 15 minutes but were saved by the frame of their goal when Poulsen and Marcel Sabitzer both hit the post in the space of four seconds.
Hamburg made the most of that let off thanks to a goal against the run of play, with Jatta winning the ball from Kevin Kampl and lifting a bending effort over an off-guard Peter Gulacsi.
It took just eight second-half minutes for Rangnick's men to regain their advantage, though. Wary of the lurking Timo Werner, Janjicic turned Poulsen's ball across the face of goal into his own net.
Leipzig put the game beyond doubt through Forsberg's strike from the edge of the box, picking out the bottom-left corner just three minutes after he rattled the crossbar.
What does it mean? First final awaits Leipzig
A seventh win in a row for Leipzig leaves them on course for a first major honour. The Red Bulls had never previously made it past round three of the Pokal, most recently being knocked out in the second round at the hands of Bayern last season.
With a 10-point advantage over the chasing pack in the race for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga and just four games remaining, Rangnick's side can focus on a date with Bayern or Bremen in Berlin.
Poulsen steps up
Poulsen gave his side a deserved lead and played a huge part in Leipzig's pivotal second, which came when Hamburg were threatening another equaliser. The striker now has 19 goals in all competitions.
Kampl and Gulacsi's blushes spared
Leipzig were boasting a one-goal lead and were in control of the match when Kampl was put under pressure by Jatta and gave away possession near the touchline. A backpedalling Gulacsi should have bailed his team-mate out but was unable to get any power behind his one-handed save, allowing the ball to creep over his head.
Thankfully for the embarrassed Leipzig pair, Janjicic's own goal and Forsberg's strike put their side back in command.
Leipzig could wrap up Champions League qualification from the Bundesliga in their home match against Freiburg on Saturday, while Hamburg travel to fellow 2. Bundesliga promotion hopefuls Union Berlin the following day.