Third away win in a row

First Team
14.04.2024

SC Freiburg won 1-0 away at bottom-placed side SV Darmstadt on Bundesliga matchday 29 thanks to a goal from Ritsu Doan (36’).

There had been three previous meetings in the Bundesliga between the two sides, and the record was equal. Both teams had won one of these fixtures, and the sides drew the last time the teams met in Autumn last year.  

For the fourth edition of this Bundesliga match-up, the Freiburg coaching staff made two changes to the starting line-up. Vincenzo Grifo started in place of Merlin Röhl, and Roland Sallai replaced the suspended Lucas Höler in the starting XI. 

SVD head coach Torsten Lieberknecht brought in six new players to the side that were heavily beaten by Mainz last week. Thomas Isherwood, Bartol Franjic, Braydon Manu, Mathias Honsak, Julian Justvan and Tim Skarke were replaced by Matej Maglica, Tobias Kempe, Emir Karic, Aaron Seydel, Clemens Riedel and Klaus Gjasula. 

SC with early problems 

Darmstadt, who are 12 points adrift of 16th place and getting closer to the drop, made the better start to the game and had a chance to take the lead after just 30 seconds. Manuel Gulde’s last-ditch defensive action to get in front of the Darmstadt cross ahead of Aaron Seydel meant that Noah Atubolu needed not intervene.  

The 1,700 travelling SCF fans had to wait paatiently for ten minutes before their team found their way into the game and were able to find a way beyond the high press of the hosts. However, it wasn’t a real spectacle at all, and there weren’t any real chances on goal.  

That trend was bucked in the middle of the first half. Following a long ball from Darmstadt, Lukas Kübler and Manuel Gulde cleared each other out in the air, which left Oscar Vilhelmsson with lots of space on the right flank. This led to a counterattack and to a cross looking for Seydel, who missed Atubolu’s goal by a matter of inches. A fortunate end to a misfortunate moment for SCF, as Kübler was able to continue playing after receiving medical treatment. 

Doan scores the game’s only goal 

Darmstadt were then lucky themselves in that Michael Gregoritsch didn’t convert from Ritsu Doan’s cross (33’). Doan himself was able to do this just four minutes later, and in some style. The Japanese picked out Gregoritsch in the penalty area, who set it up for his teammate and watched him pick out the far corner with a powerful shot – 1-0 to SCF. 

The lead almost only lasted a short while. Maxi Eggestein lost the ball in his own box to Fabian Holland, who went through on Noah Atubolu’s goal unopposed, but the keeper reacted strongly to keep out the effort (43’). Freiburg’s narrow lead, which they now took into the half-time break, was only a slight reflection of the course of the game. 

Lots of fight, plenty of errors 

The game remained a physical affair after half time, during which Merlin Röhl came on for Vincenzo Grifo, and both sides remained a little unprecise on the ball. Apart from a long-range effort from Merlin Röhl (54’), the guests rarely got forward. However, in comparison to the first half, they were doing better in terms of breaking up Darmstadt attacks. 

It remained a cagey 1-0 come the 75-minute mark. Freiburg’s coaching staff concentrated on retaining the lead, so were only taking limited risks in attack, but despite this, they had a chance for a second. Merlin Röhl broke through down the right and crossed it into the centre from the byline, where substitute Florent Muslija flicked it onto the far post. Jordy Makengo had made the right run, but his attempt on the volley only found the side netting from a tight angle (78’). 

SVD, for whom a win would have helped them in their fight to make 16th, threw everything into the final closings of the game. Whilst Killiann Sildillia missed from a decent position at the other end (90’+4), a whirlwind of crosses were being sent into Freiburg’s box, but these were either being headed away by defenders or collected in the arms of Noah Atubolu. This meant that the visitors held onto their hard-fought lead. 

“Our defence dealt with the long balls at the end really well, although we didn’t have any particularly tall centre backs on the pitch. Darmstadt caused us lots of problems, but we were expecting that. At the end, it was a rather fortunate victory,” commented Christian Streich after full time. 

Two home fixtures are next up in the run-in for SCF. Firstly, they host 1. FSV Mainz 05 next Sunday (19:30 CEST), and they then welcome VfL Wolfsburg to the Europa-Park Stadion the following Saturday (27th April, 15:30 CEST). 

Photo: Achim Keller  

Match facts

SV Darmstadt 98: Schuhen - Bader (73', Holtmann), Klarer, Maglica, Holland (80', Schnellhardt) - Riedel, Gjasula, Kempe (68', Honsak), Karic (80', Torsiello) - Vilhelmsson (68', Pfeiffer), Seydel 
Head coach: Torsten Lieberknecht 
Bench: M. Behrens, Isherwood, Zimmermann, Müller 
  
SC Freiburg: Atubolu - Kübler, Keitel, Gulde, Günter (71', Makengo) - Doan (90'+1, Sildillia), Eggestein, Höfler, Grifo (46', Röhl) - Sallai (71', Muslija), Gregoritsch (89', Breunig) 
Head coach: Christian Streich 
Bench: Müller, Szalai, Philipp, Adamu 
  
Goals: 0-1 Doan (36') 
Yellow cards: - Sallai 
Referee: Sascha Stegemann 
Attendance: 17,810 

 

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