MD7 was something of a special day for Freiburg’s goalkeeper, Alexander Schwolow. The reason being he spent last season on loan at Arminia Bielefeld and Friday night was the first time he’s played against them in a Freiburg shirt. With that in mind it makes a little more disappointing that Freiburg didn’t take all three points. But I have little reason to complain. They salvaged the game, rescued a point and Lukas Hufnagel (the joker referred to the in title) got his first Bundesliga goal. I’m sure if there was more time they could have come up with a third, but overall I’m happy. Though I’m sure I would not be so satisfied with the result had Bochum not drawn as well. They conceded a last minute equaliser to Fortuna Düsseldorf, meaning they don’t get to pull ahead at the top of the table. So if you’re going to pick a time to drop points, it was not the worst time to do so. As things stand just one point separates Bochum and Freiburg. It’s also helpful that both Leipzig and St Pauli drew too.
At the other end of the table, Paderborn got their first win of the season, beating fellow strugglers Karlsruher SC. Duisburg’s search for their first win continues and they remain rooted to the foot of the table. And 1860 pulled off a surprise draw with promotion hopefuls (only in their own minds it would seem) Kaiserslautern.
On paper and by rights this should have been a win for Freiburg, but look a little closer and you’ll see that whilst Bielefeld have only won one game, they have also only lost one, with five draws to their name. Clearly they’re not an easy side to break down. And they did hold up well against the pressure Freiburg put on them right from the off. Freiburg created plenty of chances in the first half and looked plenty dangerous, so it was somewhat of a surprise when they conceded just before the end of the first half. The goal coming after the first shot rebounded off the post, then a poor clearance by Günter which resulted in the ball getting straight back in the path of Fabian Klos who put it past Schwolow. The second goal came just after the beginning of the second half and was also the result of a not so great clearance. The ball once more falling straight into the path of a Bielefeld player and after taking an unlucky deflection, in the back of the net past a very angry Alexander Schwolow. Here’s the GIF of his reaction:
It’s strange how things work out, in a game against the team he played for last season I finally make up my mind about getting a jersey with his name on. I don’t know the reasons for it, but now I know, I can get one with his name on and not feel like I’m betraying Roman. With that decision made, maybe now I can finally learn to spell his name right too.
On the subject of shirts, here’s the pictures I should have posted last week. Typical, it got here in time for the Kaiserslautern game and then I forgot to include the pictures in that game’s post. Here they are now, my very own Löw Freiburg shirt:
Freiburg looked a little out of sorts in the first few minutes of the second half but they quickly got their heads back in the game and resumed putting pressure on the Bielefeld defence. It took until the 60th minute when they started to liven up, with the substitution of Karim Guede for young Lukas Hufnagel who immediately made his presence felt with a shot on goal barely a minute after coming on. It started to feel like it would just be a matter of time until they pulled one back, which they eventually did in the 66th minute. The assist coming from Maximilian Phillipp who provided the cross for Nils Petersen, getting his seventh league goal. Freiburg continued to step up the pressure in search of their equaliser and they were duly rewarded in the 89th minute. The goal being scored by the Georgian joker Lukas Hufnagel, the pass coming in from the left from Mike Frantz and Hufnagel somehow managing to shake off the two defenders around him and put the ball in the back of the net. It was not a particularly pretty goal, but it was a very important one.
If they’d managed to pull one back a little earlier, they probably could have won the game. But they didn’t and in the end you can’t complain. It’s of some comfort to know the result doesn’t accurately reflect how they played, that they did play well and it wasn’t for lack of effort. There’s two games to enjoy this week because it’s what known as the “die englische Woche.” A very busy week, midweek games and then the regular games on the weekend too. The most exciting Bundesliga match-up is obviously Bayern v Wolfsburg. In the 2.Bundesliga meanwhile, Freiburg’s game against Leipzig is the designated match of the week with them playing on Thursday. Which is a good in one way, it means not having to wait to see how the other games will turn out and what effect they’ll have on the table. Then on Sunday they’ll play host to FSV Frankfurt. Bochum play Bielefeld on Tuesday and then Kaiserslautern on Friday, the latter should prove to be good game.
Plenty of videos and pictures this week, including post-match interviews with Alexander Schwolow, Nils Petersen and Christian Streich, at the end is three pictures of Schwolow during the penalty shoot-out in last year’s DFB Pokal, when Bielefeld knocked out Gladbach: