SC Freiburg moved into the Europa-Park Stadion in style with a win on Thursday evening. In a friendly against FC St. Pauli, SC were the 3-0 victors, with Vincenzo Grifo scoring the first-ever goals at our new stadium and Nishan Burkart adding a third.
Opening night at our new stadium, the Europa-Park Stadion. SC Freiburg made good use of the international break to play a friendly against the leaders of the 2. Bundesliga and open the new home in the process. Before kick-off, the stadium's sponsor, the Europa-Park, put on an opening ceremony, with fireworks, clowns, jugglers and all the excitement of the occasion. Of course, the traditional anthems of Baden-Württemberg and SCF were not left out.
Our head coach Christian Streich chose the following XI to start the game: Benjamin Uphoff in goal, behind a back three of Manuel Gulde, Keven Schlotterbeck and Dominique Heintz. In central midfield, Janik Haberer and Maximilian Eggestein started, with Christian Günter and Kiliann Sildillia on the wings. The frontline consisted of Vincenzo Grifo, Nils Petersen and Lucas Höler.
Grifo at the double
SC had lots of possession in the opening quarter of an hour, but the visitors carved out the better chances, with Guido Burgstaller's header and Buchtmann's curling effort ending up over Uphoff's bar. The home side's first good chance fell to Maxi Eggestein, whose effort from the edge of the box sailed just over (13'). Three minutes later, Grifo started and finished a move, heading Sildillia's cross just over before scoring the first ever goal at the Europa-Park Stadion in the 17th minute. What a goal it was, too: a wonderful curler from the left hand side of the area into the far corner.
After 25 minutes, St. Pauli began to threaten the Freiburg goal once again, with Uphoff parrying two back-to-back chances: firstly from close range, then the rebound from further out. Shortly afterwards, Grifo showed everyone how to score a great goal once again. He recieved the ball in space - with no defender challenging him and no attacker showing for it, he went again himself, with almost the same result. This time into the bottom corner, he curled into the far corner to double Freiburg's lead (28'). SC cemented their advantage in the remainder of the half, with the game running through the left hand side of Günter and Grifo.
The second period began with Nicolas Höfler replacing Höler, and in a similar fashion to the first half, lots of possession for the hosts. Once again like the first period, the visitors fashioned the first chance, with a long-range effort from Paquarda being deflected by Schlotterbeck (54'). Once again, the home side scored, Nishan Burkart this time with a header, the first goal in front of the new Südkurve for fans to celebrate (67'). With ten minutes to go, Heintz went for goal from a free kick, with the ball flashing past the post. A free kick for the opponents went closer, with Uphoff having to tip it onto the bar and out.
SCF had three good chances in the closing minutes through substitutes Höfler and Yannik Engelhardt, but sadly without any further goals to finish the game. "It was brilliant fun and we played great football," said a delighted Grifo, the history-maker after scoring the first-ever goal in the stadium. For head coach Streich, the first game at the new stadium was "unusual", but he was happy with his team's performance. "It was a good test for us against a good opponent"
Photo: Achim Keller
|SC Freiburg: Uphoff; Gulde (59' Barbosa), Heintz, K. Schlotterbeck; Günter (59' Burkart), Eggestein (82', Flum), Haberer (82', Risch), Sildillia; Grifo (72' Engelhardt), Petersen (82', Leopold), Höler (46' Höfler)|
|Head coach: Christian Streich|
|FC St. Pauli: Smarsch; Wieckhoff (45', Zander), Ziereis (45', Medic), Dzwigala, Ritzka (45', Paqarada); Benatelli, Aremu, Buchtmann (45', Brandt (72', Jessen)), Hartel - Burgstaller (45', Makienok), Loubongo (45', Kukanda)|
|Head coach: Timo Schultz|
|Goals: 1-0 Grifo (17'), 2-0 Grifo (28'), Burkart (68')|
|Yellow cards: Aremu (62')|
|Referee: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck|