SC Freiburg won 3-1 against FC Augsburg in what was an intense game to begin the second half of the league campaign. The goals for the home side came courtesy of Michael Gregoritsch (13’), Lucas Höler (30’) and Philipp Lienhart (85’).
“Ultimately, we deserved to win today because of the goal-scoring chances we created,” commented Christian Streich at his post-match press conference. “But if Demi had taken his chance in the 80th minute, who knows how the game might have ended?”
Before the game came to its climatic finish, namely the away side’s major chance in the 80th minute, the 33,500 in attendance at the Europa-Park Stadion saw an even start to the match. Lucas Höler took the first shot of the game from 23 metres out, but his shot was caught by FCA keeper Rafal Gikiewicz (3’).
It was practically an identical Freiburg side to the one that drew 1-1 with Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, with only Yannick Keitel coming into the starting XI in place of the suspended Nicolas Höfler. Amongst the names on the Augsburg team sheet, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 on Wednesday, was former SCF striker Ermedin Demirović.
The 24-year-old signed for FCA last summer, with Michael Gregoritsch moving in the opposite direction. The Austrian has made a good start to his Freiburg career, and presented further evidence of that in the 13th minute. He was brilliantly played in by Yannick Keitel and fired a powerful cross-goal shot from the left side of the penalty area. Gikiewicz could do nothing to stop the fierce effort which gave the hosts the lead.
Five minutes later, Mergim Berisha had a good chance at the other end to equalise, but Lukas Kübler’s last-ditch tackle was perfectly timed to deny the Augsburg attacker.
SCF’s last home match against FC Augsburg is certainly one that will live long in the memory of Freiburg fans. The 3-0 victory on matchday 6 was the perfect way to bid farewell to the Dreisamstadion, Freiburg’s old ground. Despite this fixture not having as much historical relevance this time around, a great Bundesliga match unfolded in front of the supporters.
Berisha converts from the spot, Höler promptly replies
Lukas Kübler’s tackle on Ermedin Demirović, who came onto the ball following a cross from the right, was a second too late and resulted in a penalty to Augsburg awarded by referee Christian Dingert (27’). After a quick VAR check, Merim Berisha placed the ball on the spot and shot down the middle to draw the visitors level (29’).
The Augsburg celebrations would only last for a few fleeting moments, however, as Gregoritsch flicked on a long ball directly from kick off to Ritsu Doan, who subsequently played it across the box to Höler to tap in from seven metres (30’).
The score remained 2-1 to SC at half time after good chances for both Gregoritsch (39’) and Berisha (41’) went begging.
Sildillia only finds the post
In contrast to the lively and heated start to the first half, it took a while for the game to get going after the break. The first real opportunity came in the 58th minute and for Enrico Maaßen’s side: Dion Drena Beljo, a player signed by Augsburg in this transfer window from Croatian side NK Osijek, just headed wide of Flekken’s goal from eight metres. One minute later, Doan excellently dribbled past several opponents down the left flank before his cross eventually landed in the path of Kiliann Sildillia, but his effort struck the woodwork and bounced away.
Doan then made use of an Augsburg mistake whilst trying to play out from the back and was only denied because his shot from a promising position was blocked. In hindsight, it might have been a wiser decision to square it to Gregoritsch who was all alone (61’).
SCF are unbeaten in their last eight league matches vs. FC Augsburg. It appeared this run meant a lot to goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who pulled out a top-drawer save to keep out Demirović's close-range effort in the previously-mentioned golden Augsburg chance (80’). The game was then put to bed when Philipp Lienhart headed in from Vincenzo Grifo’s corner, who had just been subbed on, from six yards out to make it 3-1 to the home side (85').
“Augsburg were strong and played a good game,” said the SCF head coach after the final whistle. “Our team was coming off the back of a brutal game on Wednesday. You can’t always bring this intensity every time.”
Despite the fact it was coming to the end of an intense week of fixtures, Wooyeong Jeong (87’) and Kiliann Sildillia (89’) still kept going and could have potentially added a fourth and fifth goal. However, given the way in which the game had gone, this wouldn’t have reflected the competitive nature of today’s fixture. It ended 3-1, and the win moves SCF onto 34 points (4th as of 18:00 CET, Saturday, 28th January). Freiburg have now gone 13 home games without defeat in all competitions, and their next is at Signal Iduna Park against Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 4th February, 15:30 CET).
Photos: Achim Keller
|SC Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler (90'+3, Gulde), Ginter, Lienhart - Sildillia, Eggestein, Keitel (75', Wagner), Günter - Doan (82', Grifo), Höler (82', Petersen) - Gregoritsch (75', Jeong)|
|Head coach: Christian Streich|
|Bench: Uphoff, Kyereh, Sallai, Grifo, Weißhaupt|
|FC Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Udokhai, Pedersen (69', Colina) - Engels, Rexhbecaj (69', Dorsch) - Maier, Demirovic - Beljo (62', Yaboah), Berisha|
|Head coach: Enrico Maaßen|
|Bench: Koubek, Bauer, Baumgartlinger, Caligiuri, Jensen, Sarenren Bazee|
|Goals: 1-0 Gregoritsch (13'), 1-1 Berisha (pen., 29'), 2-1 Höler (30'), 3-1 Lienhart (85')|
|Yellow cards: Lienhart, Eggestein, Wagner - Udokhai, Berisha, Demirovic|
|Referee: Christian Dingert|