RB Leipzig defeated Freiburg on penalties to win the German or DFB Pokal Cup at Berlin’s Olympic stadium.
Freiburg’s captain Christian Guenter and forward Ermedin Demirovic missed their attempts from the penalty spot to seal a thrilling final which had ended 1-1 after extra time.
Maximilian Eggestein gave Freiburg the lead in the 19th minute with a low effort from the edge of the box, a goal that stood after a VAR review for a possible handball in the build-up.
RB Leipzig almost equalized five minutes later but Christopher Nkunku’s rebound from close range was parried away by Nico Schlotterbeck on the goal line with Mark Flekken beaten.
As Freiburg supporters began to chant and ignite fireworks in celebration, Nkunku wrecked the party with a 76th-minute equalizer.
The late equalizer breathed new life into Leipzig, who had been playing with one man since the 57th minute after defender Marcel Halstenberg was sent off for a dangerous tackle on striker Lucas Hoeler.
Both teams had chances to win near the end of normal time, with Freiburg hitting the post twice and the bar once in extra time.
Leipzig, meanwhile, were denied a penalty for a foul on midfielder Dani Olmo after a VAR check in the dying minutes with Kevin Kampl being sent off for a second yellow card for his protests after the incident.
The dismissal did not prove too costly as RB Leipzig sealed the win during the penalty shootout.
It was Leipzig’s first triumph in the competition after they finished runners-up in 2018-19 and 2020-21.
With Leipzig winning the Cup Freiburg’s sixth-placed finish in the final league table earns them a return to the Europa League for the first time since 2013.