Wirtz hits brace as Leverkusen reach German Cup final

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Florian Wirtz scored goals in each half as Bayer Leverkusen thrashed Fortuna Duesseldorf 4-0 at home on Wednesday to reach the German Cup final for the fifth time.

Leverkusen have gained a reputation for stealing last-gasp wins this season but were in total control from start to finish against their second-division opponents.

Jeremie Frimpong opened the scoring seven minutes in, with Amine Adli adding another on the 20-minute mark. With five goals, Adli is the top scorer in the cup this season.

Florian Wirtz added a third 10 minutes before half-time and doubled up from the spot on the hour mark to seal a comfortable victory for Xabi Alonso’s side.

The win, which extended Leverkusen’s remarkable unbeaten record to 40 matches this season, keeps the dreams of a treble alive for a team with just two major trophies in club history.

They won the German Cup in 1993 but have finished runners-up three times since.

On Tuesday, Kaiserslautern beat third-division Saarbruecken to become the first second-division side in the final since 2011.

Duesseldorf’s hopes of joining Kaiserslautern in the first-ever all-second-division final took an early hit, Frimpong slamming in from close range after seven minutes.

Wirtz, again pulling the strings for Leverkusen despite being just 20, found Adli who blasted home confidently to double the lead.

Leverkusen scored a third after winning the ball back and working it quickly to Wirtz, who shed a defender and finished past Florian Kastenmeier.

After 60 minutes, Patrik Schick’s header connected with the hand of Duesseldorf’s Matthias Zimmerman, with the referee pointing to the spot after a VAR review.

Kastenmeier guessed correctly but Wirtz’s shot was perfectly tucked inside the left post, and the home fans broke out into chants of “Berlin, we’re going to Berlin” for May’s cup final.

AFP

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