Freiburg remain unbeaten after four games in the league. SCF came from behind to draw 1-1 after the visitors were reduced to ten men. The equaliser came through an own-goal from Rafael Czichos.
With the Bundesliga back this weekend, Christian Streich made one change to the team that last played in Stuttgart. Maximilian Eggestein replaced the injured Nicolas Höfler to start his first game for the club. He partnered Yannik Keitel in central-midfield. Mark Flekken played in goal; the four in front of him were Philipp Lienhart, Nico Schlotterbeck, captain Christian Günter and Lukas Kübler. Roland Sallai and Vincenzo Grifo started on the wings, with Lucas Höler and Wooyeong Jeong up-front again.
It was a lively start to the penultimate game at the Dreisamstadion as SCF looked to continue their brilliant start to the season against FC Köln, a team that Freiburg have enjoyed playing against in recent times. The first moment of note came in the second minute, when captain Christian Günter put his shot wide having been presented with an empty net. His blushes were saved by the linesman’s flag, however. Köln’s first opportunity came a few minutes later as Mark Uth’s shot had to be steered past the post by Flekken. On balance it was SCF who started the brighter of the two teams, who had their best chance of the half in the 7th minute. Höler dinked in a ball from the right but the angle at the far post proved too tight for Grifo, who headed into the side-netting.
Köln gradually started to see more of the ball, but didn’t create anything clear-cut, until Mark Uth hit a volley straight at the goalkeeper (14’). Köln had a clear plan and looked to play to their strengths. They knew exactly what had worked for them so far this season, and crosses started coming in at every opportunity, looking for Andersson and Modeste. The former was unlucky to see Uth’s cross just evade his outstretched leg (24’). Two minutes later, Kainz volleyed wide, and shortly after, looked for Andersson in the box, who headed over the bar with the best chance of the match so far. This served to spur on SCF, however, though Günter put his long-range effort well wide.
Then, true to form, Köln took the lead from an Anthony Modeste header (33’). SCF had been allowing the visitors too much time in the middle of the park, and eventually the striker headed in after Schmitz’s cross. Köln attempted to press home their advantage, and Uth hit the post just minutes later after a free kick. The ball came at him just too high to get good contact on the volley. “We weren’t secure enough on the ball in the first half,” explained Streich. His counterpart Steffen Baumgart summarised the first period: “It was a really intense and open game. We were on top in the first half but Freiburg were better after the break.
Freiburg pile on the pressure
At half-time, Christian Streich brought on Janik Haberer for Eggestein in midfield, and SCF had the first good chance of the half. After lovely play down the left from Schlotterbeck and Günter, Jeong’s header didn’t have enough power to beat Timo Horn (49’). Then just three minutes later, horn made a great save off the line from Keitel, keeping their lead intact. The Freiburg players were working hard and pressing Köln as much as possible, and eventually Günter had another shot from range just left of centre. This time he missed the target by inches (65’).
Köln were struggling to deal with Freiburg’s intensity at this stage, playing on the counter, but their strikers weren’t able to make an impact. In the 72nd minute, Jeong and Sallai were replaced by Nils Petersen and Kevin Schade, who immediately brought energy into the fray. Two minutes later, Kainz was shown his second yellow of the game for a scuffle, which set things up for a one-sided end to proceedings. Schade tried to make the extra man count with a great run from the left wing, but shot just wide from the edge of the box (77’).
Streich made a change in the final stages, bringing on another attacking player in Noah Weißhaupt and taking off Kübler (88’). This proved to be the perfect move, as Weißhaupt set up the equaliser just one minute later! Grifo swept the ball wide to the substitute, who beat his man on the right and his cross came off the unfortunate Czichos, completely misjudging the ball and turning it into the roof of his own net. Keitel and Petersen both could have won it late on, but both shot over the bar. “I think we deserved the point because of our second half performance,” said Grifo after the final whistle. His coach agreed: “I am totally satisfied with the second half. We got a bit lucky with the goal, but it was deserved. The draw is a fair result.”
|SC Freiburg: Flekken – Kübler (87', Weißhaupt), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter – Sallai (72', Schade), Eggestein (45', Haberer), Keitel, Grifo – Jeong (72', Petersen), Höler (82', Demirovic)|
|Head Coach: Christian Streich|
|Visitors: T. Horn – Schmitz, Meré, Czichos, Hector – Ljubicic (83', Schaub), Özcan (69', Lemperle), Uth (62', Skhiri), Kainz – Modeste (69', Duda), Andersson (83', Ostrak)|
|Head Coach: Steffen Baumgart|
|Goals: 0-1 Modeste (33'), 1-1 Czichos (89', OG)|
|Yellow cards: Schade, Lienhart - Modeste|
|Red cards: Kainz|
|Referee: Harm Osmers|