Bremen end Regensburg’s cup run to set up Leipzig semi-final

By Derek Wilson, dpa

Werder Bremen will host RB Leipzig in the last four of the German Cup later this month after Yuya Osako struck the only goal in their rearranged quarter-final away to second division Jahn Regensburg on Wednesday.

Osako brilliantly controlled a long pass from Marco Friedl and fired home the winner seven minutes into the second period after a first half notably low in quality.

But that will not bother Bremen who continue their search for a seventh German Cup, and first since 2009, against Leipzig on April 30. It also brightens a dismal Bundesliga campaign, where they sit 13th and are not yet completely safe from relegation.

“We want to take this last step towards Berlin,” said Bremen coach Florian Koheldt. “That is our dream. That is why you play in the cup.”

Regensburg were in the quarter-finals for the first time in their history after a remarkable run of three consecutive penalty shoot-out victories, including a triumph over top-flight Cologne in the last round.

A coronavirus outbreak, where eight players tested positive, forced the delay of the match against Bremen but when the big day came they struggled to impose themselves. Only Andreas Albers threatened a opener, when he clipped over, and an equalizer which was blocked in a scramble.

“We have shown too much respect at the start and then conceded a cheap goal,” said Regensburg coach Mersad Selimbegovic.

Bremen hit the post through captain Niklas Moisander, and Theodore Gebre Selassie somehow sent the rebound over, before Osako broke the deadlock.

The Japanese striker was denied his second by keeper Alexander Meyer but it made no difference in the end.

Borussia Dortmund welcome second-division Holstein Kiel, who shocked holders Bayern Munich in the early rounds, in the other semi on May 1. The final in Berlin is on May 13.

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