- Der Tag in Dortmund 08/10/19
- Ankunft in Dortmund 07/10/19
- Stefan Kuntz at HSV v Greuther Fürth 2019/20
- Joachim Löw at SC Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund 2019/20
- Matthias Ginter at Fortuna Düsseldorf v SC Freiburg 2019/20
- Joachim Löw at Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund 2019/20
- Joachim Löw at SC Freiburg v FC Augsburg 2019/20
- Joachim Löw at RBL v Bayern München 2019/20
- Nordirland v Deutschland – Second half & Post-match show: The Löw Highlights
- Nordirland v Deutschland – Pre-match show & 1st half: The Löw Highlights
Tag Archives: Karlsruher SC
This game was the very last one before the international break, victory would see Freiburg return to the top of the table, just one goal stood between them and leapfrogging Leipzig. This time round I got my wish, thanks to a Mike Frantz goal they went into the international break at the top of the league. It’s only on goal difference but it all counts. Nothing can ruin this, not even the fact that the first 45 minutes has to rank as one of their worst performances this season. Not quite as bad as the Heidenheim game though. Last time against KSC they drew 1-1 and it was a fair result, a little bit lucky truth be told, for both teams. They left it late that time, Nils Petersen scoring in the 89th minute. A goal you would think had to be the winner, a goal which would have been the winner had it not been for Vadim Manzon. Another important fact about the KSC game is that the reverse of the fixture saw Freiburg extend their unbeaten run to seven games. This time they achieved something even better, six wins in a row. Random interesting fact, Bielefeld who Alexander Schwolow played for last season ran up a record of their own, seven games without a win, the longest winless streak in the league. Funny how things work out. The only reason Freiburg had a chance to go top is thanks to 1.FCN beating Leipzig 3-1 on Sunday. I didn’t see the game, I couldn’t bear to watch. Not to mention the fact I’m not getting out of bed that early on a Sunday for anyone but Freiburg.
The first half wasn’t great, a few chances but none that were taken. It’s ironic that Mike Frantz got their first opportunity of the game. He was never going to get there though. Abrashi on the other hand was gifted a chance just a few seconds later which could have been something but he took too long to take the shot. In the first half KSC had the better chances to score, including the goal they did actually score but which thank the gods was offside. KSC failed to make any of them count, bar that one. In particular Diamantakos had a great chance 15 minutes in but he like Abrashi just took too long about it, Günter stayed with him and eventually had no trouble stopping him in his tracks.
The first half continued like that, what few chances Freiburg had they didn’t take. It wasn’t the most entertaining of games and they went into half-time with the score at 0-0. It surely couldn’t stay that way and not just because they really needed to win. More because Freiburg don’t really do draws and goalless draws are a particularly uncommon experience. Freiburg certainly didn’t look like the best offensive team in the league. KSC on the other hand did look like what they are, one of the worst offensive teams. They’ve scored just 25 goals, to put that into perspective that’s only two more than Duisburg and Paderborn who are in the bottom two spots.
Whatever Christian Streich said at half-time it seemed to work because they came out fighting at the start of the second half, the first real chance on goal coming in the 48th minute with Frantz getting an opportunity to take the lead. It’s fitting that he got the first shot on goal in the second half seeing as he would in a short while go on to score the only goal of the game. Another chance was to come just a minute later and there was a little bit of luck involved for KSC. Their keeper harassed by Petersen misplaced a pass, Abrashi was there to capitalise and came very close to making it 1-o. After playing reasonably well in the first half and battling hard KSC started to make a few mistakes, letting the pressure get to them and misplacing passes. Höfler took advantage of just such a mistake to help himself to a shot on goal which wasn’t far away. You got the feeling the balance of play was shifting in Freiburg’s favour, a goal seemed to in the offing. Another good chance came for Grifo in the 57th minute, his shot being tipped over the bar by Rene Vollath. Grifo of course took the resulting corner which was duly headed into the net by Mike Frantz, his fifth goal of the season. That goal sent Freiburg to the top of the table and resulted in a very nervy 32 minutes.
The final half an hour saw KSC come close to equalising a few times, a header luckily deflected by a defender and what would have been a free shot at goal had there been someone there to meet Diamantakos’ pass. Freiburg had a few chances too but if they were to double their lead Mike Frantz would play no part in it, being taken off with 15 minutes to go and replaced by winter signing Harvard Nielsen. They made their second change a few minutes later with Karim Guede replacing Maximilian Philipp. Despite making two offensive minded changes they weren’t taking any major risks. Indeed their third and final change saw defender Mensur Mujdza replace striker Nils Petersen. The last few minutes of the game weren’t with out excitement, KSC making an absurd call for a penalty after Höfler made a somewhat comical mistake in the box. He accidentally kicked up the ball towards his own hand, in no world would the referee have given anything for that. One of the KSC players managed to talk himself into a yellow card because of the incident. The final few minutes saw the tussle from earlier in the game resuming and something of a flurry of cards, with Guede and then another KSC player also seeing yellow. On that matter the drama wasn’t over, in the second minute of extra time Peitz saw his second yellow card for hitting Höfler in the face. Abrashi in his usual way almost talking himself into trouble in the process. Just 30 odd seconds stood between Freiburg reclaiming their spot at the top of the table. And then that was that, all over. No last minute winner this time, no annoying Russian jokers. Just Freiburg getting to spend the international break at the top of the table.
After a routine 2-0 victory over FSV Frankfurt the previous weekend on match-day 10 Freiburg visited their neighbours KSC. The game being made extra interesting for two reasons, firstly because of course they are both former teams of Jogi’s and secondly because there was another Baden-Württemberg derby that same weekend with Stuttgart visiting Hoffenheim. Funnily enough their game ended in a draw too and also featured a last minute equaliser. On the subject of local derbies the previous weekend KSC played their other neighbour 1.FC Heidenheim, they drew 1-1. A result which no doubt would have left them wanting something from this game even more. Not to mention the fact they were without a win in five games, including a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Eintracht Braunschweig and a 3-0 defeat to 1.FC Union Berlin. Their last victory came on MD4 against bottom of the table Duisburg, hardly a vote of confidence in their form. At the time it was only one of two victories to their name. Just one season after finishing in 3rd place KSC found themselves struggling in fourteenth place. And yet you wouldn’t have known it from the way they played against Freiburg. Whether it was determination not to extend their run without a win to six games or simply a matter of pride it worked for them. It may have been a game in which both goals came extremely late but it was once full of excitement. It was also a game which was very competitive, that’s probably not the best word for it but it’s the only one I can think of. Let me put it another way, it took precisely eleven seconds for the game to be stopped for the first free kick and there was many more after it.
In fact in the first few minutes of the game there were more fouls and free kicks than there were chances with both teams taking a little while to get going, KSC understandably a little cautious against going up the best attack in the league. Both teams were pretty evenly matched in the first five minutes but it was KSC who got the first chance, earning themselves a corner. It came to nothing, Peitz headed it over the bar and Schwolow didn’t need to do anything but watch it sail over. Schwolow was first called into action in the sixth minute but it wasn’t a real save after an absurdly optimistic shot from KSC’s Dimitri Nazarov. In the next few minutes KSC had a couple more attempts on goal, though none on target. Freiburg for their part were getting nowhere near their goal and KSC’s keeper Vollath playing in place of Dirk Orlishausen found himself with nothing to do.
The tussling and the midfield battle continued for the next several minutes, the first yellow card came in the 13th minute for KSC player Peitz after elbowing Karim Guede in the head and grabbing his neck on the way down. Less than a minute later Freiburg got their first real sniff of an opportunity with Mujdza sending a long pass downfield to Philipp who was waiting just outside the box. He couldn’t get on the end of it and it ended up being put out of play for a corner by a nervous looking Valentini. With usual corner taker and dead ball specialist Vincenzo Grifo on the bench Mike Frantz was the man tasked with taking it. The ball in was headed out easily by the defence where it was collected and battled for by a waiting Christian Günter. The resulting cross from Nicolas Höfler resulted in a little game of pinball in the box but it ultimately came to nothing.
The game continued in much the same pattern for the next few minutes, plenty of small fouls but nothing significant and no attempts on goal. That is until the 17th minute when Marc-Oliver Kempf rightly earned himself a yellow card for blatantly shoving a KSC player in the back right in front of the linesman. It wasn’t the smartest decision he made all day especially seeing as how it was his mistake to begin with. Put under pressure he went backwards with the intent of passing the ball to Schwolow or one of his fellow defenders but instead slipped and found himself in a foot race with his marker. When his marker got in front of him saw no option but to take him out, in order to prevent him from having a free run at goal. A price worth paying. The resulting free kick was no problem at all nor the shot afterwards which Schwolow watched go wide.
In the 20th minute Nils Petersen finally made some impact on the game with an impressive solo run down the left flank which unfortunately came to an end when he elbowed his marker in the back. Petersen got another chance just two minutes later with a cross in from the right but his marker prevented him from connecting with it.
For the next ten minutes the game started to flow a little better, at least there wasn’t a free kick every other minute anyway. Unfortunately the balance of play favoured KSC, they were the one who had a few chances. Admittedly most of them were off target and the few which were posed no significant difficulties for Schwolow, but at least they were getting through. Frantz almost broke through on the right but quickly found himself swarmed by three defenders. A short while later Frantz earned himself a yellow card for sliding in behind and taking out Nazarov. KSC got a few more chances in the final minutes of the first half, given the fact they were having a lot more success in this regard it wouldn’t have surprised me had they scored first. Freiburg scoring from open play seemed a little unlikely, no matter what they tried it just wouldn’t go. If they were going to score it was most likely going to be from a set play.
It was no surprise at the start of the second half to see Vincenzo Grifo being brought on for Christian Günter in an attempt to address the lack of creativity in midfield. Hopefully bringing Grifo into the game would increase the quality of the passes into the box and he could maybe go off on some of those marauding runs of his. Or more likely to score from a free kick because it didn’t seem like anybody not even Grifo was going to get through. They certainly didn’t waste any time in getting started, having two long range attempts on goal in the first two minutes after the restart. But neither of them were especially close, neither Guede’s nor Abrashi’s. Grifo got his first chance to have some effect on the game with a corner in the 48th minute, which unfortunately the KSC defence had no problem dealing with. Despite the presence of Grifo the game followed a pattern similar to that of the second half, lots of niggly little fouls and plenty of free kicks, with few real chances for both sides and a continuous battle for possession.
In the 58th minute Grifo went off one of those tricky little runs of his, getting between two defenders but the second of them manged to put enough pressure on him so that his pass into the box went over the bar. A short while later Freiburg made their second change of the game with Tim Kleindienst coming on for Karim Guede. Most of the attempts on goal for both sides were from outside the box, a pattern that continued in the second half. Most such shots posed on problem for either keeper but in the 60th minute Schwolow was called into action to react to a troubling shot from Nazarov. Luckily Schwolow was able to just tip it out for a corner. A corner which resulted in a goal kick for Freiburg, deserved or not I don’t know, there was a lot of pushing and shoving in the box from both sides.
The next few minutes continued in the same fashion as the rest of the game, the only exception being a little bit of luck for KSC which saw Erwin Hoffer find some space in the box. His shot however went straight towards Schwolow who collected it easily. 70 minutes in Streich made his third and final change with Lucas Hufnagel replacing Maximilian Philipp, perhaps in the hope he could repeat his feat against Bielefeld and get another all important goal. He came on just as KSC were about to take a free kick which was harmlessly headed out for a corner. The resulting corner however provided plenty of danger, whilst Schwolow managed to push away Peitz’s header he couldn’t get a grip on it, luckily for him the follow up shot went just wide.
With both teams proving to be matched in every regard it seemed more and more likely the game would end in a 0-0 draw, had it done so it would have been a fair result. Neither team had really done enough to win it. There were few events of note in the next few minutes but one which has to get a mention is Schwolow in the 70th minute coming out of his box and clearing the ball Neuer style. Not quite as adventurous as Neuer often is but still an impressive moment for him.
Earlier in the game Freiburg brought on their Georgian joker Lucas Hufangel. Well as it turns out KSC had one to match in the form of Russian Vadim Manzon who in the 85th minute replaced Erwin Hoffer. For the next few minutes Schwolow was on full alert. He dealt with the header from the free kick with no problems, tipping it over the bar for a corner. From this point you would assume both teams were playing for the draw, neither of them seeming like they were going to take any major risks. Manzon himself got a shot on goal just a few minutes after coming on but like so many of the others it was off target, unluckily only because it took a deflection which meant a corner and Schwolow being called into action again. It was punched out by Schwolow but it didn’t matter, after stopping the corner from being taken the first time and warning the players the referee blew his whistle afterwards because of more such antics.
As it turned out it was a corner which created the chance for Freiburg’s goal, that and KSC being a little over cautious. In the 88th minute one of their defenders chose to head out Nicolas Höfler’s very harmless cross, it went out for a corner to be taken by none other than Vincenzo Grifo and then headed home by Nils Petersen. A goal which wasn’t really deserved but when all is said and done that doesn’t matter. It’s a goal which had it been the winner would have seen Freiburg go back to the top of the table. That is if Vadim Manzon didn’t have other ideas. The happiness lasted just over a minute. Despite there being just two minutes of extra time to hold out for and having all but two men back in their own half to defend Freiburg still ended up conceding a late equaliser. In all fairness it was nothing less than KSC deserved but that doesn’t stop me from feeling cheated. At least the draw extended their unbeaten run to seven games which at this point was the longest streak in the league.
Only getting a point from the game meant Freiburg gave up the top spot to Bochum who routed Greuther Fürth 5-0. They went top on goal difference with both teams having 21 points but Bochum having the slightly better goal difference. I could at least take comfort in the fact St Pauli lost to Sandhausen meaning there was a three point gap between them and Freiburg. Though even if they did win Freiburg would remain in second place with a plus ten goal difference compared to their three.
Post-match interviews with Alexander Schwolow, Nils Petersen & Christian Streich:
Pictures from Freiburg’s game:
Whilst searching online yesterday for a picture for comparison purposes I found quite a few pictures of Jogi I’d never seen before, thus I got several new additions to my collection. First up is a few pictures from his playing days, the first one from Eintracht Frankfurt is my favourite:
Then some from when he coached Stuttgart:
Can anything be funny, or are some things off limits?
Almost anything can be funny, I have a very dark sense of humor so there’s not many topics that I would consider off limits. There are however one or two topics that are just too painful to even consider joking about. Jokers to name one, to be more specific Russian jokers who score the equalizer just over a minute after Nils Petersen scored what I thought had to be the winner. Petersen’s goal was late, in the 89th minute and with only two minutes of extra time, a minute and 28 seconds of which had already been played, it was too late to respond in kind. I should be grateful that it ended 1-1, on the balance of play KSC deserved to win and if it wasn’t for a little bit of luck, Manzon’s goal would have been the winner. Yet I still feel cheated because for just a minute, literally a minute, I was already thinking of Freiburg returning to the top of the table.
Two Baden derbies in two days and they both ended on a similar note too. Though there is one major difference in that both Hoffenheim and Stuttgart are struggling, whereas with Freiburg and KSC they are at opposite ends of the table. The similarity is that they both ended in a draw and both with a last minute equalizer, plus in both cases it was a header.
In KSC’s case the equalizer was scored by joker Vadim Manzon who had been on the pitch for about seven minutes. And for Stuttgart their equalizer came from Timo Werner. It was not however the best goal of the game, that honour goes to Kevin Volland, but at least half of the credit has to go to former Freiburger Oliver Baumann who with his excellent and exceedingly accurate throw out (Manuel Neuer would be proud) started the move off.
KSC’s equalizer was obviously a big disappointment to me, Stuttgart’s not so much. At least now I don’t have to feel guilty or conflicted at all about rooting for Hansi’s team at the expense of Jogi’s team, or vice-versa.