Both teams started somewhat cautiously, eager to gain a measure of control and a solid foothold in the game early on. The only chance of note in the opening period was Roland Sallai’s shot (11’) that drew a save from Fabian Bredlow, who replaced Florian Müller in goal due to stomach complaints. VfB maintained their composure and increasingly grew into the game, eventually taking the lead in the 30th minute from Chris Führich’s 25-yard screamer that whistled into the top corner. The winger went close again moments later (34’), while Freiburg lacked a creative spark in the final third.
Two penalties for Freiburg
Freiburg began the second half determined to turn the game around, playing with far greater purpose. Ritsu Doan had the ball in the net in the 50th minute but the goal was disallowed for offside in the build-up. However, 10 minutes later the hosts did equalise when Vincenzo Grifo converted from the penalty spot (60’) following a foul by Dan-Axel Zagadou inside the box. The game remained evenly balanced, and VfB had another couple of dangerous chances through Führich (70’, 77’) that they were unable to take advantage of.
The home side were then awarded another penalty following another foul from Zagadou, with Grifo successful from the spot once more (84’). With fire in their bellies following the VAR decisions, VfB threw everything forward, but the closest they came to an equaliser was Borna Sosa’s shot that hit the bar (90’+3).
30th minute (0-1): Führich lets fly from 25 metres, sending an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
60th minute (1-1): Grifo tucks his penalty away into the bottom left corner.
84th minute (2-1): Grifo scores from the spot once again.
Chris Führich: “It’s very frustrating for us. We’re disappointed and would have liked to take something from the game. At the end of the day, two penalties were decisive. I’m not particularly happy with my first goal – I would have preferred to score another one and get a point. We could have got more from this game but we need to build on the positives and keep going.”
Fabian Bredlow: “Overall we didn’t give them many chances and we had opportunities of our own up front. We were in front at half-time and we looked good at the back. Without the penalties I’m sure we wouldn’t have conceded today, and that would have done us all a lot of good.”