The previous weekend Freiburg secured promotion when they defeated Paderborn 2-1 and with the 2- 0 win over Heidenheim they sealed their position in first place. They not only sealed their return to the Bundesliga but did so in pole position, ahead of RB Leipzig. It was perfect in a sense, not least because the scorer of both goals was former Heidenheim player Florian Niederlechner. The goals were made even more perfect by the fact they were both made and scored by two jokers, Lucas Hufnagel and of course Niederlechner. Not a great game to watch by any measure but that doesn’t matter, not when what happened afterwards was so much fun.
SC Freiburg v 1.FC Heidenheim 2015-16 – 1st & 2nd half
RB Leipzig confirmed their inevitable promotion with a 2-0 defeat of KSC, being gifted a second goal after an error by KSC’s keeper. If 1.FCN hadn’t screwed up they could have taken advantage of RBL’s poor run of results in recent weeks, it could be them in second place. But they didn’t and they have to content themselves with third place which is guaranteed at least since they have an eight point lead on St Pauli. With one match-day to go everything is decided at the top of the table, all but one thing that is. Freiburg have won the league, they’re the best team offensive wise in the league and have the best home and away record. Yet there’s one thing they don’t have, it’s not Nils Petersen who’s the current league top-scorer because he didn’t score against Heidenheim and Simon Terrode did against Braunschweig. In order to be crowned top-scorer Petersen needs to score two goals against Union Berlin and for Terrode not to score against Heidenheim. Fingers crossed for Petersen, it’s already been a great season but him being crowned top scorer would make it just that little bit more perfect.
Meanwhile at the foot of the table things went from bad to worse for Paderborn after they lost 1-0 to 1860 München and Duisburg managed to salvage a point at Sandhausen. Going into the final day of the season Paderborn have the difficult task of getting at least a point from third placed 1.FCN, I suppose they can take some hope from the fact their opponents need absolutely nothing from the game. As they can from the fact Frankfurt who they need to lose face 1860. I would put good money on them beating Frankfurt. The situation at the foot of the table offers no salvation for any of the bottom three. The best all of them can hope for is the play-off place. None of them can achieve automatic safety, not realistically. In theory Duisburg could but only in theory, because they would have to not only beat RB Leipzig but score seven goals against them whilst conceding none and counting on Fortuna Düsseldorf to lose to Eintracht Braunschweig. Paderborn, Frankfurt and Duisburg can all win yet still not be safe. If that were to happen the table would stay exactly as it is, with Paderborn in 18th, Frankfurt in 17th and Duisburg in 16th.
SC Freiburg v 1.FC Heidenheim
1 FC Nürnberg v St Pauli
RB Leipzig v KSC
Bochum v Eintracht Braunschweig
Pictures and GIFs from Freiburg’s game:
Posted in 2. Bundesliga, Fußball, SC Freiburg
Tagged Alexander Schwolow, Christian Günter, Christian Streich, Florian Niederlechner, Marc-Oliver Kempf, Maximilian Phillipp, Mensur Mujdza, Nicolas Höfler, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg, Vincenzo Grifo
I didn’t expect the trip to Eintracht Braunschweig to be an easy one but I underestimated just how difficult it would be. Sometimes things are just a little too perfect and the lead-up to this game is a perfect example of just how that’s true. It was just too good to be true, both RB Leipzig and 1.FCN losing in the same weekend. The stage was set perfectly for Freiburg to open up a three point gap on Leipzig. As things turned out they just have the one point gap. But to see it from another perspective I guess it’s not the worst time to drop points, after all Leipzig did too. So it could be worse. Freiburg have an excellent record against Eintracht Braunschweig apparently, they haven’t lost to them in quite some time, not since 1986 if the presenter on the pre-match show is to be believed. The reason that’s important is because in 1986 one Jogi Löw was playing for Freiburg, in fact he played in both games in the 1985/86 season against Braunschweig. Not only that but he scored the second goal in the home fixture which ended 2-2. The reverse of the fixture ended 2-0 in Braunschweig’s favour. It’s not just the trivia I got from the pre-match show, I also got these two pictures:
Well they still haven’t beaten Freiburg at least, but they came very close to doing so. Freiburg’s point was saved with the assistance of the referee in fact. Going into extra time the score was 2-1 to Braunschweig. Their coach wasn’t happy about the amount of extra time, nor about the fact they actually went over the three minutes by about 50 seconds. Had they not done so Freiburg wouldn’t have had time to take the corner and Marc-Oliver Kempf wouldn’t have scored the equalising goal. That’s three goals in two games for him now. They got lucky, I know. I’m just glad they got a point from it at least.
It certainly wasn’t a fun night, up until now they’ve had pretty good luck on Monday nights. But Braunschweig well and truly put a stop to that, it was no fun watching Freiburg get outclassed for the better part of ninety minutes. They dominated possession in the first half as has been their way this season, yet despite having 61% they only created one shot on goal. By comparison Braunschweig created six, four of which were on target. Niederlechner got a chance in the eighteenth minute right in front of goal but he couldn’t quite get there. Another frustrating moment came later in the first half when Grifo was perfectly placed yet he stepped aside for Frantz to take it, despite being closer than him. Frantz wasn’t quick enough and the chance went wasted, proof that sometimes being selfish is the better option. The past two games Freiburg have been the ones to start brightly and actually get on the score-sheet pretty early, but here it was Braunschweig who had the brighter start. Alexander Schwolow had a very busy night indeed. Somehow it was 0-0 at half-time, but it wasn’t due to lack of effort on Braunschweig’s part.
The start of the second half was not much better, Freiburg were restricted to one long range effort from Grifo, it was on target at least. Other than that it was all Braunschweig, if there were going to be goals they would be the first to score, that much was obvious. I just wish it hadn’t happened in such a way that Schwolow was partly at fault. Though Abrashi and Torrejon were at fault too, the former for underhitting the back-pass and the latter for not dealing with it properly. It’s lucky Schwolow’s ill-timed sliding tackle wasn’t too badly misjudged, the player was able to get away from him but had he not and Schwolow not got the ball then it would of course been a red card. It would have made a bad night even worse. Braunschweig were plenty dangerous by themselves from an attacking perspective, they most definitely did not need Freiburg gifting them chances that way. Their second goal came not long afterwards and Schwolow was helpless to do anything about it. At this point salvaging even a point seemed beyond Freiburg. They did manage to pull one back but it was more a quirk of fate than anything else. A long ball launched upfield by Höfler which Petersen managed to get on the end of, after heading it into the net he ended up clattering into the keeper. Somehow the ball went in and the goal stood. But getting a second seemed like a big ask, most likely impossible. They did however liven up towards the end of the game, in the last five minutes in particular. In the 85th minute Havard Nielsen was taken down in the box, he probably should have gotten a penalty. The ball was gone and contact was made but no penalty given. Nielsen may not have gotten a penalty but he did win the all important corner in extra time. Problem is they were already 20 seconds over the three minutes of extra time, the referee should have blown his whistle already for time. Yet he didn’t, a fact which understandably made Braunschweig’s coach furious. With this being the very last act of the game even Schwolow was up there, though of course his presence turned out to be of no consequence. Because it was Marc-Oliver Kempf who headed the ball home and saved Freiburg’s point. Everyone was celebrating, everyone but Christian Streich that is, he didn’t move one inch. He knew how lucky they were to get the point.
Eintracht Braunschweig v SC Freiburg
KSC v 1.FCN
RB Leipzig v SV Sandhausen
Posted in 2. Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, SC Freiburg
Tagged Alexander Schwolow, Eintracht Braunschweig, Joachim "Jogi" Löw, Marc-Oliver Kempf, Maximilian Phillipp, Nicolas Höfler, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg, Vincenzo Grifo
So what does the first day of Christmas bring? Three calendars and three players. Well almost, all the Freiburg one has is a small picture behind the chocolate but that’s where I’m starting. Because even though it’s too small to take a picture of still the rule applies, Freiburg first as always. Waiting behind door number 1 was the ever reliable midfielder Nicolas Höfler.
As for Dortmund and DFB calendars for them I do have images. First up is a trading card of Thomas Müller and then a chocolate wrapper with Marco Reus on it:
And now to something equally special, my sticker of the month, Robert Lewandowski from the Road to Euro 2016 album. He’s so special I needed to get two of him, one for the album and one for my wall of stickers:
Though in terms of awesomeness he may have some competition from this fantastic glitter sticker from the Unser Deutschland album of the German eagle: