SC Freiburg fans quickly agreed. They loudly asked Lucas Höler to climb the fence of the home block and pick up the megaphone after the 3-1 (2-1) success in the Bundesliga against FC Augsburg. Höler, who is otherwise known for his calm manner, did not take long to ask on Saturday and complied with the request. He, his teammates and their own supporters celebrated for minutes.
The Freiburgers were clearly relieved after the 0:6 debacle in the first game after the winter break at VfL Wolfsburg and the 1:1 during the week in the chasing duel with Eintracht Frankfurt. "Now we're satisfied. We showed a different face again," said Höler. The 28-year-old scored to make it 2-1 (30th minute). Just seconds before, Mergim Berisha had equalized Michael Gregoritsch's lead in Freiburg (13th) and provocatively cheered in front of the SC block. Phillipp Lienhart headed in for the final score (85').
It was Höler's first goal of the season after missing the start of the season due to a metatarsal fracture. After that, he hardly got a chance because Freiburg coach Christian Streich rarely saw a reason to change his team, which has worked well in all three competitions.
Because top scorer Vincenzo Grifo signed off ill before the game in Wolfsburg and substitute Woo-yeong Jeong was unable to perform there, Streich relied on Höler from the start against both Frankfurt and FCA. "I just wanted to leave him on the pitch," said the coach. "And now he's rewarded himself with a goal. It's a nice story for him and I'm very happy about it."
Freiburg are back on track and, with the self-confidence they have regained, want to stand up to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday next week (3.30 p.m. / Sky). "We still have an outstanding bill there and we want to settle it," said Höler. In the first leg against BVB, SC keeper Mark Flekken started the 3-1 defeat with a blunder after a 1-0 lead. "We somehow have to perform differently there," said Streich. "We'll just take Augsburg as an example." Last Saturday, FCA was on the verge of defeat at 3: 4 against BVB.
In Freiburg, the team coached by Enrico Maaßen didn't miss much to take something countable with them. Augsburg could have increased the gap to the relegation place with just one point. So they are only two points ahead of 16th place. "We've conceded seven goals in two away games, that's too many," said FCA goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz. Before the game on Friday evening (8.30 p.m. / DAZN) against Bayer Leverkusen, which Ermedin Demirovic will miss due to a yellow card suspension, the Pole again demanded a concentrated performance on the defensive. "No matter who comes, the opponent should be scared and we just have to be compact again," he said.
When the goalkeeper presented his analysis somewhat contritely and said that FCA took "at least one point too few" from the English week, Freiburg still celebrated their conciliatory conclusion. They are still among the top group and have overcome the teething problems at the beginning of the year.
Squad SC Freiburg Squad FC Augsburg table