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Late Doan goal gives SCF entertaining win vs. TSG


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When Freiburg travelled to Sinsheim to face today’s opponents in the reverse fixture, fourth-place in the table were facing third – with seven games gone, TSG had 13 points and were sitting pretty. Since that game, though, they have picked up just five points from 17 games, and because Schalke 04 earned a point in their derby against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side sat bottom of the table at kick-off.

The will shown by the bottom-placed side to change that story as quickly as possible was clear to see from the start. With just 10 seconds on the clock, Ilhas Bebou missed Mark Flekken’s goal by mere centimetres. Freiburg then quickly got themselves stuck into the game, and made perfect use of their first big chance. Vincenzo Grifo crossed looking for Michael Gregoritsch, causing chaos in the Hoffenheim back-line – Eggestein dispatched the rebound with aplomb, giving former Freiburg ‘keeper Oliver Baumann no chance in goal and making it 1-0 to SCF on five minutes. It was midfielder Eggestein’s first goal of the season.

The Freiburg coaching staff had made three changes to the team which started the narrow 1-0 defeat in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg against Juventus on Thursday. Ritsu Doan, Michael Gregoritsch and Manuel Gulde came in for Roland Sallai, Kiliann Sildillia and the injured Philipp Lienhart, as SCF set up with a back four rather than a back three. Gregoritsch set up alongside Lucas Höler in attack, whilst Wooyeong Jeong recovered from his illness to make the bench.

The South Korean looked on as the away team attempted to fight back from going a goal down early on. TSG attackers Bebou and Munas Dabbur looked lively in front of the 33,500 fans at the Europa-Park Stadion. With 20 minutes gone, Dabbur looked set to equalise, but Nicolas Höfler made a fine recovery from his earlier error. Nine minutes later, Matthias Ginter also denied the Israeli striker at the perfect time following a dangerous cross.

A lack of big chances

As the half went on, Christian Streich looked increasingly agitated on the sideline and changed some tactics around. “Right now, we’re in a phase where it’s work, work, work. Things aren’t coming easily to us right now,” said the SCF coach after full time. Even though the ball was at Freiburg fit much more often, there was not much in the way of big chances. Doan looked to volley home a Christian Günter cross, but his attempt on 42 minutes was around a metre off-target. The scoreline remained 1-0 at the interval.

TSG coach Matarazzo made a change to a very young midfield after half time, as 22-year-old Finn Ole Becker and 21-year-old Angelo Stiller appeared in the centre against Eggestein, 26, and Höfler, who turns 33 on Thursday. It seemed as though the youngsters were coming good, too, as Stiller turned into a prime striker and fired past Flekken on the turn to equalise on 49 minutes. A quick reply from the home side then went begging, as after good set-up work from Grifo, Gregoritsch missed his chance from a tight angle with 55 minutes gone.

Hoffenheim defend well

The away team’s last clean sheet came on matchday 10 in the Bundesliga, but Baumann and his defence are proving especially difficult to beat this Sunday. It took until the final 20 minutes for SCF’s first chance of note, as Günter’s free-kick cross set up Höler. “Hoffenheim really took up the fight. We weren’t precise in our passing and lots of our moves were snuffed out as soon as they started, because they were so focused,” explained Streich. A hectic closing stage saw TSG defender Ozan Kabak, who was booked for a foul on Grifo earlier in the half, given a second yellow for kicking the ball away – he was sent off with six minutes of normal time remaining.

“From a Hoffenheim point of view, you have to say that this game should’ve ended as a draw and they should’ve seen it out. We managed to create one last good chance, though, and had a bit of luck on our side,” concluded streich.

Just after the hour mark the SCF coaching staff brought on Noah Weißhaupt – a stroke of luck; a stroke of genius. In the 89th minute, the Freiburg academy graduate showed his heart and dribbling skill down the left wing and set Doan up perfectly in the middle, who netted the winner. The celebrations were deafening inside the Europa-Park Stadion, and that noise was matched by the cheer that went up when referee Harm Osmers blew his full-time whistle.

This latest win gives SC Freiburg 45 points after 24 games and a huge boost for the second leg against Juventus in the Europa League. That next test for the team and the fans will come at the Europa-Park Stadion this Thursday (18:45 CET).

Photo: Achim Keller


Late Doan goal gives SCF entertaining win vs. TSG

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