After an early lead: Freiburg celebrates victory in comeback
SC Freiburg is successfully back in international competition. Vincenzo Grifo and Ritsu Doan ensure a good start against Karabakh Agdam.
SC Freiburg has taken the momentum from the Bundesliga to the international football stage and, after nine years, has made a successful comeback in the Europe League celebrated.
The Badeners defeated the Azerbaijani champions Karabakh Agdam at the start of the group phase with 2: 1 (2: 1). Vincenzo Grifo from the penalty spot (7th minute) and Ritsu Doan (15th) scored the goals in front of 31,500 spectators for the Bundesliga leaders, who were then neglected at times. Marko Vesovic (39th) scored for the guests.
Freiburg Coach Christian Streich had warned against the alleged underdog from Azerbaijan, after all, this has been a regular guest in international competition for years and this summer just missed qualifying for the Champions League. However, the coming games in Group G against Greek record champions Olympiakos Piraeus and against French cup winners FC Nantes are likely to be even trickier. It was all the more important for the sports club to put itself in a good starting position right away.
Freiburg full there
"We're back" was written on a banner in front of the fan block. And the Freiburgers were not only back, but also right into the game. The first 30 minutes felt like it only went in one direction. After Tural Bayramov used an arm against Matthias Ginter and a tip from the video assistant, referee Erik Lambrechts from Belgium awarded SC a penalty - and Grifo confidently scored in the bottom left corner. A little later, Doan skillfully pulled in from the right wing and increased the lead to 2-0 with a low shot.
There was hardly any relief for the guests - until the Badeners slowed down a bit. Vesovic suddenly had a lot of space in front of the penalty area and scored the connection. SC keeper Mark Flekken didn't look very good with the shot in the middle, Agdam got braver.
Moment of shock after the break
After the break was spots against Kwabena Owusu (47th) and in two attempts by the Brazilian Kady (53rd, 70th) but on the spot. Freiburg's top scorer Nils Petersen missed a chance with his head (64th) on his debut in the season, but otherwise remained pale. Overall, the second half wasn't nearly as entertaining as the first. There was a moment of shock for the hosts in the closing stages: a duel between Freiburg's Kiliann Sildillia and Abdellah Zoubir in the SC penalty area was checked but not punished (81').
In the 2013/2014 season, Freiburg were in the group stage of the Europa League for the last time, but were eliminated. Five years ago they failed in the qualification against the Slovenian outsiders NK Domzale. This time the Breisgauers want to spend the winter internationally. A first step towards this has been taken.