BERLIN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - A late strike from Torsten Frings gave Werder Bremen a 2-1 victory in the semi-final of the Bundesliga pre-season League Cup tournament on Tuesday.
Hamburg were down to 10 men from the 76th minute after Nigel de Jong was sent off for a challenge on Germany midfielder Frings.
But nevertheless they had more chances to break the draw until Frings beat two Hamburg SV defenders eight minutes from time and fired a fine shot from the left into the far corner.
'I saw the corner was open and took a chance the goalkeeper wouldn't see it coming,' said Frings. 'Fortunately, it went in. We want to win the first title at stake this season to get off to a good start.'
Bremen, who finished second in the Bundesliga last season, now play in the final of the League Cup, made up of the top six teams, on Saturday against the winner of Wednesday's semi-final between Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Schalke 04.
Mohamed Zidan, returned to Bremen after being loaned for a season to Mainz 05, had put Bremen ahead in the 50th minute after collecting a superb pass from Miroslav Klose. Zidan then surprised the Germany striker by kissing him on the cheek.
HSV equalised in the 70th minute when Ivory Coast's Boubacar Sanogo broke free from midfield to latch onto a through ball and beat Bremen goalkeeper Andreas Reinke.