Two late goals save Freiburg in Kaiserslautern

First Team

Freiburg battled from behind to beat Kaiserslautern 2-1 (a.e.t.) in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Late goals from Rolland Sallai (82‘) and Ritsu Doan (111’) prevented an upset at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

It was an unchanged side from the team that faced Racing Strasbourg last weekend. New signing Michael Gregoritsch was fit after recovering from an ankle injury he picked up in Colmar.

There were 38,300 fans packed into the Fritz-Walter-Stadion and after just 40 seconds, Julian Niehues showed Freiburg what they were up against. The midfielder was shown a yellow card by referee Sven Jablonski for a tough challenge on Ritsu Doan on the right-hand side. It was a heated opening phase and Lukas Kübler was taken off the field after 13 minutes for a thigh injury. Kiliann Sildillia came on in his place.

SC initially found things difficult against a compact opposition. They nearly found a breakthrough after 20 minutes, when Eggestein nearly found Grifo in a promising position, but his pass was cut out by Kevin Kraus.

Ritter scores from 40 yards out

The newly promoted home side, who have picked up four points from their first two games in the 2. Bundesliga, were happy to let SC keep possession of the ball and largely sit back. After 33 minutes, Kaiserlautern’s opener came quite literally out of the sky – Marion Ritter saw that Mark Flekken was well of his line and lobbed him from 40 yards. The Freiburg goalkeeper got his fingertips to the ball, but not enough to tip the ball over the bar.

Sallai replaces Jeong

Freiburg’s coaching staff reacted at the break and brought on Roland Sallai for Wooyeong Jeong. The 5,000 or so Freiburg fans in the ground had to be patient, though – as Ritsu Doan cleverly put in Michael Gregoritsch, whose shot from 15 yards was only just wide.

After 56 minutes Matthias Ginter got involved with Freiburg’s forward play for the first time and he quickly showed to be dangerous, combining his Germany teammate Christian Gunter, who couldn’t quite aus kurzer Distanz aber nicht mehr richtig hinten den Ball kam.

SC apply more pressure

The Breisgauer were much more consistent in their offensive play in the second half. A combination between Kiliann Sildillia and Roland Sallai on the right side fell to Michael Gregoritsch, who could not put enough pressure behind his header in the penalty area (66’). Five minutes later, Vincenzo Grifo sent Maximilian Eggestein into the box, who was only prevented from finishing by Kevin Kraus at the last moment.

The Freiburg coaching staff briefed Nils Petersen and sent him on in the 73rd minute, who just 60 seconds later couldn’t quite deflect a Maximilian Eggestein ricochet into the net from close range.

Petersen's counterpart on the opposite side, Lautern striker Terence Boyd, was kept out of the game for long stretches by the Freiburg center-back duo of Ginter and Lienhart, but then had a double chance after 78 and 79 minutes respectively: first he put a header just over the bar after a cross from the left, and shortly afterwards he fired just too high when he was

Freiburg subs sting

Freiburg coach Christian Streich said after the game, "When you go here to the Betzenberg, with the temperatures today, you don't have to dress for the warmth – but it's a very special atmosphere. Kaiserslautern were strong and could have made it 2-0, but we got better every minute."

After 82 minutes, Roland Sallai finally redeemed the SC supporters who had come along. A corner from Grifo landed to Petersen, who crossed to the Hungarian international at the second attempt. The finish from three meters was one of the substitute’s easier tasks of the afternoon.

In a heated final period, the visitors pressed for the winning goal, but failed to create the big chance. The game went into extra time - an experience that the SC pros would certainly have preferred to do without in temperatures of more than 30 degrees at the Betzenberg.

The match took its toll on both teams. Apart from shots from distance from Roland Sallai and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who came on as a substitute at the end of normal time, the first period of extra time saw little serious action.

Doan scores a free kick

With 111 minutes gone, Freiburg were awarded a free kick around 25 yards out. Even though there was no Vincenzo Grifo and no Jonathan Schmid on the pitch, it was to be the decisive moment. Ritsu Doan placed the ball just inside the post, bouncing just inside for a highly celebrated goal.

Nils Petersen even had the chance to make it 3-1 shortly before the end after a cross from Daniel-Kofi Kyereh in the 118th minute, but in the end it finished 2-1. The new season thus started just as the last one ended – with an emotional cup encounter.

Photo: Achim Keller


Kaiserslautern: Luthe - Durm, Kraus, Tomiak, Zuck - Ritter, Niehues (69' Ciftci) - Zimmer (74' Bünning), Wunderlich (74' Hercher), Hanslik (68' Redondo) - Boyd (84' Lobinger) 
Bench: Krahl, Bünning, Schad, Basenach, Kiprit, Ciftci, Redondo, Lobinger, Hercher 
Head coach: Dirk Schuster 
Freiburg: Flekken - Kübler, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter - Doan (115' Weißhaupt), Eggestein, Höfler, Grifo (89' Kyereh) - Jeong (46' Sallai), Gregoritsch (73' Petersen) 
Bench: Uphoff, Keitel, Gulde, Siquet, Sildillia, Sallai, Petersen, Weißhaupt, Kyereh 
Head coach: Christian Streich 
Goals: 1-0 Ritter (33'), 1-1 Sallai (82'), 1-2 Doan (111') 
Yellow card: Zuck, Niehues, Wunderlich, Lobinger, Ritter - Lienhart, Höfler, Kyereh 
Referee: Sven Jablonski 
Attendance: 38,300 


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