SC came away with a 2-0 home win against FC Augsburg. Vincenzo Grifo scored from the penalty spot (5’), before Philipp Lienhart converted a header from a corner to make it 2-0 (56’).
During his press conference on Friday, SC head coach Christian Streich addressed his side’s inefficiency in front of goal this season, and SC promptly put on a display of clinical finishing against Augsburg, using two of their limited chances to good effect.
The Freiburg coaching staff kept faith in the side that drew 0-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt, and the team once again set up with a back-three. Michael Gregoritsch was back in the squad to play his former club having overcome a calf problem. For Augsburg, captain Ermedin Demirovic was in the starting eleven, as was Tim Breithaupt, who was making his first start for the club following a summer move from Karlsruher SC.
There were only two minutes on the clock when Yannik Keitel played a ball forward to Roland Sallai for the first time, with the Hungary international getting his body in between the ball and Augsburg player Iago, who made contact with the SCF player’s leg. Referee Harm Osmers didn’t change his decision having gone and looked at the pitchside monitor, with the ball having hit Sallai on the arm but it was adjudicated to not have handball. SC captain Vincenzo Grifo was not put off by having to wait for over three minutes, and calmly converted into the top right-hand corner (5’).
Atubolu called into action early on
In the eighth minute, Iago raced into the Augsburg box after a long ball, but Noah Atubolu was alert to the danger and took the ball right off his toes. The Freiburg ‘keeper was called into action a minute later after Keitel gave away the ball, and he kept his nerve to save from Philipp Tietz one-on-one.
It was a nervy opening phase, with lots of mistakes from both sides. SC were forced into a change after 20 minutes, with Merlin Röhl replacing the injured Keitel. The visitors stayed in the game and offered a threat on the counter and from crosses. After a Kevin Mbabu cross from the right, Ruben Vargas didn’t quite get enough contact on the ball and his shot was blocked (21’). That was the last chance of any note before half time after a disjointed first half in front of around 33,000 spectators at the Euro-Park Stadium.
Freiburg’s set piece ability brings about the second goal
SC also struggled after the break. “It is not easy for us on the pitch at the moment, obviously we have to keep rebuilding because of injuries,” said Christian Streich after the game.
However, SC could still rely on their strengths from set pieces on Sunday evening. Vincenzo Grifo picked out Philipp Lienhart with a corner from the left after 56 minutes at the near post and he powered home his header, giving Finn Dahmen no chance in the Augsburg net. At the other end, Demirovic tested Atubolu with a shot from the edge of the box (66’). The former Freiburg player also got on the end of the resulting corner, but his shot from close range was blocked, preventing Augsburg from pulling it back to 2-1 (67’).
SC were also the luckier team in key moments on the day. After 80 minutes, substitute Dion Beljo sent Ermedin Demirovic through, who squared for another substitute, Sven Michel. Michel scored and the away fans celebrated, but following a VAR review the goal was narrowly ruled out for offside.
At full time, the scoreline still read 2-0. “We are absolutely not happy from a footballing side of things and there were too many errors, but it was an extremely important game and we have managed to reach 10 points. That should give the team strength, but we also obviously want to play better football,” suggested Christian Streich, whose side are in eight place following six Bundesliga games. On Thursday, the team await the visit of West Ham United for their second group game in the UEFA Europa League.
Photo: Achim Keller
|SC Freiburg: Atubolu - Ginter, Lienhart, Sildillia - Sallai (88' Gulde), Keitel (20' Röhl), Eggestein, Kübler - Doan (73' Philipp), Grifo (72' Adamu) - Höler (88' Gregoritsch)|
|Head coach: Christian Streich|
|Unused substitutes: Müller, Schmidt, Weißhaupt, Rüdlin|
|FC Augsburg: Dahmen - Pfeiffer, Gouweleeuw, Udokhai - Mbabu, Breithaupt (72' Maier), Rexhbecaj, Iago (57' Pedersen) - Vargas (57' Michel), Demirovic - Tietz (71' Beljo)|
|Head coach: Enrico Maaßen|
|Unused substitutes: Koubek, Gumny, Bauer, Jensen, Dorsch|
|Goals: 1-0 Grifo (5'), 2-0 Lienhart (56')|
|Yellow cards: Röhl, Eggestein - Breithaupt, Michel|
|Referee: Harm Osmers|