Strong away performance at BORUSSIA-PARK

First Team
30.03.2024

SC Freiburg defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 to stay in contention for continental qualification. Michael Gregoritsch, Merlin Röhl and Ritsu Doan were on the scoresheet for SC.

Even after the international break, the SC injury list continued to be a long one. Matthias Ginter, Philipp Lienhart, Roland Sallai and Noah Weißhaupt were all unavailable for selection. Yannik Keitel therefore deputised in central defence, just as he had in the Europa League visit to Lens. There were a total of four changes from the side which started the 3-2 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen, with the previously-suspended Maxi Eggestein coming into the starting XI along with Lukas Kübler, Michael Gregoritsch and Keitel.

Gladbach head coach Gerardo Seoane made several alterations to his side after their draw at Heidenheim, as Ko Itakura replaced Maximilian Wöber at centre-half and Jonas Omlin started between the sticks for his first league appearance since August. Amid a string of disappointing performances, including a shock cup exit at the hands of Saarbrücken, Borussia’s players and coaching staff went into the match with the clear aim of redeeming themselves in the eyes of the fans.

Gregoritsch quick off the mark

The hosts set out to attack from the off, and had the first chance of the game in the first minute as Robin Hack’s effort from the edge of the box whistled just wide of the far post. The opening stages saw Borussia make much of the early running, but it would be SC who made the breakthrough. Röhl found Eggestein on the right, and his deflected effort fell at the feet of Gregoritsch, who made no mistake from close range to give Freiburg the lead on six minutes.

The early goal emboldened SC, who played with greater bravery after hitting the front, but they were lucky to retain their advantage after a last-ditch challenge by Eggestein denied Rocco Reitz the opportunity to get a shot off (11’), and Jordan’s header from the resulting corner was centimetres away from finding the net (12’).

An action-packed first half also featured chances for SC to increase the lead, but long-range efforts from Gregoritsch (17’) and Doan (19’) following quick counterattacks lacked the precision required to trouble Omlin.

Neither side appeared to have defensive stability as an element of their game plan in the first 45 minutes, and as such both goalkeepers had to be constantly on their toes throughout the half. Nevertheless, there would be no further goals before half-time, and the teams went into the dressing rooms with SC holding the aces.

A lightning-fast start to the second period

Further goals though came straight after the start of the second half. Michael Gregoritsch drove into the penalty area after a superb pass from Lucas Höler and forced Jonas Omlin to punch the ball away. The rebound landed at the feet of Merlin Röhl, and the youngster advanced another couple of yards to superbly strike a low shot into the net (47’).

While Borussia were still somewhat unsettled by the second goal, Michael Gregoritsch had a chance for the second goal shortly afterwards, but tested Omlin in the visitors’ net with an effort from a possibly offside position (52’).

Five minutes later, the Gladbach captain was unable to keep out a third goal. After a quick counter-attack, Ritsu Doan played Maximilian Eggestein in with a clever backheel in the penalty area. The midfielder was not challenged as he advanced to the touchline, and found the Japanese in the six-yard box with a wonderful low cross, which Doan calmly tapped into the net (57’).

Half an hour from time, the Freiburg lead looked comfortable, though Borussia remained dangerous, particularly from set pieces. Gerardo Seoane reacted to the third goal by bringing on three quick attacking players.

SCF soaked up the pressure from the Foals for long periods, defended with concentration and aggression, and tried to wrap up the game once and for all on the counterattack. One of these saw Attila Szalai play in the advancing Lucas Höler in space. The forward though couldn’t beat Jonas Omlin from a tight angle (78’).

Noah Atubolu had to make one more great save, as he tipped Ko Itakura’s header over the bar (89’). The players and the fans were then able to celebrate a second away win in a row and their largest margin of victory in the league so far this season. “In the first half, Gladbach could have scored one or two goals from set pieces or open play. In the second half, scoring two so quickly was good for us. It was a very difficult game because of injuries, but the players who came in were outstanding,” said Christian Streich after the game.

After the Easter weekend, SC host RB Leipzig at the Europa-Park Stadion. The game on Matchday 28 will kick off next Saturday at 15:30 CET.

Photo: DeFodi Images

Match facts

Borussia Mönchengladbach: Omlin - Scally (Lainer 75’), Elvedi, Itakura, Netz - Reitz, Weigl, Neuhaus (Plea 61’) - Honorat, Jordan (Cvancara 61’), Hack (Ngoumou 61’)  
Head coach: Gerardo Seoane 
Substitutes: Nicolas, Friedrich, Herrmann, Kramer, Wöber 
  
SC Freiburg: Atubolu - Kübler, Keitel (Szalai 74’), Gulde - Doan, Eggestein, Höfler (Muslija 90+1’), Günter (Makengo 90+1’) - Höler (Adamu 90+1’), Gregoritsch (Grifo 74’), Röhl 
Head coach: Christian Streich 
Substitutes: Müller, Sildillia, Philipp, Breunig 
  
Goals: 0-1 Gregoritsch (7’), 0-2 Röhl (47’), 0-3 Doan (57’) 
Yellow cards: Itakura -  
Referee Christian Dingert 
Attendance: 53,000 

 

 

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