Hard-fought draw with Darmstadt

First Team

SC played out a 1-1 draw with SV Darmstadt 98 on Bundesliga matchday 12, the first of three matches in eight days for Christian Streich’s side. Darmstadt took the lead through Mathias Honsak (18‘) before Lucas Höler’s equaliser (35’). 

After a week without Bundesliga, SC are straight back into a packed schedule and played the first of three matches in eight days against Darmstadt. Following the Darmstadt game, there is a Europa League game this Thursday at home against Olympiakos before a league game against Mainz 05 on Sunday. First though a game against the Lillies, with Michael Gregoritsch and Ritsu Doan slotting into the starting eleven after strong performances for their national sides.

With the tall Austrian upfront, SC played lots of long balls in the first few minutes, with Gregoritsch having a shot from the edge of the box blocked after 6 minutes. SC controlled the game and obviously it was a set piece – Freiburg and Darmstadt are among the best teams from set pieces in the league – which led to the next opportunity (12’). Vincenzo Grifo’s central freekick from distance crept narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

The guests had set up defensively and only made short forays into the Freiburg half, with their long balls swept up by Noah Atubolu and the SC defence. But in a sweeping move in the 18th minute, they took the lead. Mathias Honsak took a shot from the edge of the box, aiming for the right-hand side of Atubolu’s goal. He had a slice of luck as the ball was deflected, unfortunately wrong-footing Freiburg’s number one and giving him no chance.

Deserved equaliser

The hosts found it difficult to create clear-cut chances, with the Lillies sitting solidly in their defensive shape. Set piece situations continued to cause the Darmstadt defence trouble, though. Gregoritsch had a shot following a Grifo corner, with Darmstadt clearing off the line for another corner, which Grifo took short. Doan was completely free on the edge of the box and took aim, with his effort narrowly missing the top corner and providing SC with an equaliser (27’). Three minutes later, Grifo had a left-footed shot from the edge of the box, but it was straight at goalkeeper Alexander Brunst. SC had the best chances of the game in this period and found a deserved equaliser in the 35th minute.

Centre-backs Philipp Lienhart and Matthias Ginter were heavily involved in the build-up to the goal after a sixth Freiburg corner. Lienhart set Ginter through, who pulled the ball back across the face of the goal, with Lucas Höler only having to stick out a leg from close range to poke the ball home. It was a well-earned equaliser, but Darmstadt then worked their way back into the game, even if this didn’t lead to clear-cut chances. Shortly before half time Gregoritsch had a chance from a Doan cross, but his header went wide of the far post.

Just missing that final pass

SC dominated the beginning of the second half, with getting on the attack and finding a second goal on their minds. However, the first shot of the second half went the way of the visitors, with Tim Skarke heading wide of the target (52’). SC’s best opportunities continued to come from corners. Grifo had already taken eight corners by the 60 minute mark and most of these caused uncertainty in the Darmstadt box, but they didn’t lead to any real dangerous chances. The guests continued to look dangerous on the few occasions that they broke forward. Marvin Mehlem fired just wide from the edge of the box in the 65th minute.

At this point it was the Lillies rather than SC who had come closest to finding that all-important second goal. In the 66th minute, a combination of Doan and Ginter managed to prevent a shot, while Honsak had a good effort in the 73rd minute, but it flashed across Atubolu’s goal and past the far post. The game now became more disjointed, with the midfield frequently bypassed by long balls. There were few phases of continuous possession, and even fewer chances.

SC were just missing that last move, a final clever pass or there was an opponent in the way just as a move was developing. “We had our moments but were missing that final pass and we are currently not finishing off moves,” said Maximilian Eggestein, who had the best chance of the second half with the final move of the game. Weißhaupt put a great cross into the middle which Eggestein met well with his head, but Brunst made a fingertip save to just divert the ball over the bar (90+3’).

Christian Streich was pleased with his side’s performance, even if he obviously has an eye on their lack of threat in front of goal. “Everything went ok and then yet again we conceded an unlucky goal. We made it 1-1 and had eleven corners, but not enough threat in front of goal. It is a shame that we didn’t have two or three more chances with our dominance of the game. We missed the goal too many times from good situations. We’re lacking a bit of threat in front of goal at the moment. It was a difficult game, but the team gave everything once again. It is not easy for us at the moment, but the team is fighting.”

Photo: Achim Keller

Match facts

SC Freiburg: Atubolu - Ginter, Lienhart, Gulde (82' Makengo) - Doan (82' Sildillia), Eggestein, Höfler, Weißhaupt - Höler (90' Adamu), Gregoritsch, Grifo 
Head coach: Christian Streich 
Bank: Müller, Schmidt, Rüdlin, Johansson, Baur 
SV Darmstadt 98: Brunst - Zimmermann (56' Franjic), Müller, Maglica - Bader, Mehlem (90' Gjasula), Holland, Nürnberger - Seydel (74' Karic), Skarke (74' Vilhelmsson), Honsak (90' Pfeiffer) 
Head coach: Torsten Lieberknecht 
Unused substitutes: Behrens, Stojilkovic, Kempe, Riedel 
Goals: 0-1 Honsak (18'), 1-1 Höler (35') 
Yellow cards: Weißhaupt, Eggestein 
Referee: Sascha Stegemann 
Attendance: 34,300 


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