Hard-fought draw away in Frankfurt

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Freiburg’s coaching staff set the team up playing a back-five for the away game against Frankfurt and made two changes to the starting eleven. Yannik Keitel came in for the suspended Nicolas Höfler, while Kiliann Sildillia replaced Kenneth Schmidt. Manuel Gulde was intended to come in for Schmidt, but he suffered from some dizziness in the warm-up so initially took his place on the bench.

Dino Toppmöller’s Frankfurt made two changes to their starting eleven, with Mario Götze and Paxten Aaronson dropping to the bench to be replaced by Farès Chaibi and Aurélio Buta.

Both teams celebrated wins on Thursday, with SC winning 3-2 in the Europa League against Olympiakos and Eintracht successfully beating Aberdeen 2-1 at home in the Europa Conference League.

Energetic start from SC

In order to try to combat SGE’s possession-based game, SC started the game pressing high and had already managed to win the ball in their opponent’s half several times in the opening stages. The first shot on goal also went SC’s way, with Roland Sallai, who was playing as a right wing-back, crossing for Ritsu Doan, whose header was saved by Kevin Trapp in the Frankfurt goal (4’).

After this promising start for SC, there was the first attacking opportunity for the hosts. Omar Marmoush played a nice ball in behind to his teammate Buta, who went down in the box competing for the ball with Lukas Kübler. Referee Felix Zwayer decided that there was not enough in the incident for a penalty, much to the frustration of the Frankfurt supporters (10’).

Both teams did not initially show any evidence of their midweek exploits, with the game developing into a tight game, albeit without many clear-cut chances. Both teams had periods of slight dominance where they looked more likely to open the scoring.

Around ten minutes before half time, SC had their next chance in front of Kevin Trapp’s goal. Ritsu Doan dribbled into the box down the right and pulled the ball back into the middle, with the ball falling to Lucas Höler. The striker’s low shot from the centre of the box was deflected out for a corner (37’).

No red card for Dina Ebimbe

In the last seconds of additional time at the end of the first half, Felix Zwayer was called over to the pitchside monitor to look at a potential red card worthy foul by Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe on Kiliann Sildillia. The Frankfurt player had planted his foot on the centre-backs ankle when challenging for the ball, but the referee decided that this was not enough for a red card and stuck with his initial decision to award a yellow card.

The second half began with a diving stop from Noah Atubolu. The goalkeeper showed strong reflexes to tip Omar Marmoush’s drilled shot wide (46’). It wasn’t long before there were dangerous chances at the other end too, with Robin Koch almost turning a ball in from Yannik Keitel into his own net, before Vincenzo Grifo twice just failed to get on the end of crosses from Sallai (52’, 54’).

In contrast to the first half, where a lot of the play was in midfield, the game was now becoming much more direct, with both teams looking to play straight into the final third. Both sets of supporters loudly cheered on these attempts to get forward and make the breakthrough. “We knew what he had to content with and gave everything that he had. It was a very intense game. The team did really well,” said Christian Streich at the end of the game.

Two pieces of luck for Frankfurt

Both defences continued to defend doggedly and at the crucial moment they both always managed to stick a foot in and prevent a shot, meaning that going into the final stages the game had still been limited to half chances. As the game neared its conclusion, it then heated up all of a sudden. A tussle between substitute Junior Adamu and Robin Koch, led to the former Freiburg player lashing out, with Kevin Trapp and Maximilian Eggestein also carded in the subsequent scuffle. Once again, the referee decided against sending off the Frankfurt player.

Adamu was also central to the last chance of the game. Just as the game looked set for a draw, the summer new signing nodded a Noah Weißhaupt cross back across goal and past Trapp into the bottom corner (90+4’). Celebrations from the away fans were stopped almost as promptly as they had started though, with the attacker flagged offside. This decision was confirmed by VAR meaning that the game ended in a draw which, on the balance of play, was a fair result and deserving of a hard-working Freiburg away performance.

Photo: Achim Keller

 

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Hard-fought draw away in Frankfurt

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