Home » Europa League: Freiburg fights its way into the round of 16 in extra time

Europa League: Freiburg fights its way into the round of 16 in extra time

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Europa League: Freiburg fights its way into the round of 16 in extra time

Thanks to great morale and a furious comeback, SC Freiburg reached the round of 16 of the Europa League. The Baden Bundesliga team won the thrilling playoff second leg against RC Lens on Thursday after being 2-0 down with 3-2 (2-2, 0-2) after extra time.

David Pereira da Costa initially scored for the French after a mistake by SC goalkeeper Noah Atubolu (28th minute) and Elye Wahi (45th + 2) in front of 34,700 spectators. The strong Roland Sallai scored a brace (67th/90th + 2) for Freiburg’s equalizer, while joker Michael Gregoritsch (99th) made the decision. In the first leg, both teams played a goalless draw a week ago.

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“The whole stadium was crazy. They whipped us forward. We played a great second half,” said Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter on RTL and was already looking forward to the round of 16 draw, where the opponent could also be FC Liverpool. “There are still two Bundesliga games in between.” Goalscorer Gregoritsch said: “It’s unbelievable how often you get to experience something like that. This is a game for the ages.”

The atmosphere in the stands was great, but there was a spectacle on the pitch late on. The Hungarian Sallai was the most noticeable Freiburg player in a game that mostly took place between, but not in, the penalty areas in the first 25 minutes.

Goalkeeper error leads to 0:1

In the guests’ best phase to date, their lead also fell – aided by Atubolus Schnitzer. When he received a high cross, the SC keeper seemed undecided whether he should catch the ball or punch it. He then maneuvered it forward just a few meters – Pereira da Costa hit it flat into the net.

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The Freiburgers tried to respond quickly, but were initially unlucky. A free kick from the right half of the field flipped through the French penalty area and only landed on the post thanks to a reaction from the attentive RC goalkeeper Brice Samba (33′).

Roland Sallai celebrates the victory


Immediately before the break, Lens took advantage of another individual mistake in Freiburg’s defense. This time defender Manuel Gulde didn’t look good in the duel with Wahi. The striker moved into the box on the right and lobbed past Atubolu to make it 0-2.

After Streich’s changes, Freiburg becomes more dangerous

“We can’t get any flow into our game. That’s a problem,” analyzed SC sports director Klemens Hartenbach after the first half on RTL. “We can’t put pressure on them.”

Coach Christian Streich tried to change that by bringing Gregoritsch up front and Noah Weißhaupt on the left. It worked. The Breisgauers now became significantly more dangerous. Merlin Röhl fell in the penalty area but didn’t get a penalty.

I complained: Streich got a yellow card from the referee

Source: dpa/Harry Langer

Then Sallai finally brought the SC back into the game in the pouring rain. A shot from the 26-year-old was deflected and landed in the goal. Keeper Samba was powerless. However, the pressure from the attacking hosts grew ever greater. In stoppage time they were rewarded with an equalizer – again from a deflected shot from Sallai.

In extra time, Gregoritsch scored from the turn to make it 3-2 – and sent the Freiburg fans into ecstasy.

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Cheers in the stands


Disappointing Eintracht fails in the Conference League

Disillusionment instead of a magical European night: Eintracht Frankfurt has already failed in the first knockout round of the Conference League. The Bundesliga soccer team lost the playoff second leg against Union Saint-Gilloise 1:2 (0:0) and was eliminated after the 2:2 in the first leg.

In front of 57,300 spectators, the Hessians put on a disappointing performance in the duel with the league leaders from Belgium and now have to concentrate entirely on the league. Cameron Puertas (47th minute) and Dennis Eckert (80th) sealed the defeat of the 2022 Europa League winners with their goals, for whom Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe (88th) only managed to catch up.

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Source: dpa/Arne Dedert

Unlike in the first duel a week ago, when Eintracht were already leading 2-0 after ten minutes, the Belgians were not surprised this time. Although the Hessians tried to control the game from the start, they hardly posed any danger.

On the contrary: the guests created the first chances. First, Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had to stretch a lot to deal with a long-range shot from Koki Machida, then a sharp cross from Alessio Castro-Montes whizzed just past the far post.

Caught cold after halftime

After a good quarter of an hour, Eintracht celebrated the supposed opening goal, but the shooter Fares Chaibi was offside when Aurelio Buta passed the ball. But there wasn’t much more to be seen from the home team on the offensive because there was a lack of creative ideas and the necessary precision.

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So a set piece in added time in the first half had to serve as the home team’s first good opportunity of the game. Chaibi failed with a direct free kick from the strongly reacting guest goalkeeper Anthony Moris.

After the change, Frankfurt was caught off guard. Just over 60 seconds had just played when the guests cheered. Mohammed Amoura passed to Puertas, who gave Trapp no ​​chance with a well-placed shot from 16 meters. The Hessians’ defense seemed to still be thinking in the dressing room.

Now unity was required – but there was initially no reaction. The attacks were far too static, so that the visitors’ defense was able to regroup again and again. Coach Dino Toppmöller reacted after an hour and brought in two fresh offensive players, Hugo Ekitiké and Dina Ebimbe.

But the Belgians still had the better chances. After a great counterattack, Puertas was free again, but this time Trapp was able to fend off the Spaniard’s shot and keep the hope of a turnaround alive. With 13 minutes left, Niels Nkounkou had the chance to equalize, but Moris brilliantly parried the Frenchman’s header. Just 120 seconds later, Eckert made the decision with a dry shot into the corner. Dina Ebimbe’s late header goal didn’t change that.

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