Europa League: Petersen and VAR save Freiburg 1-1 at Karabakh Agdam

With white fan scarves around their necks and big grins on their faces, the SC Freiburg players looked happily into the camera.

Europa League: Petersen and VAR save Freiburg 1-1 at Karabakh Agdam

With white fan scarves around their necks and big grins on their faces, the SC Freiburg players looked happily into the camera. But they also seemed a little relieved.

On the one hand, the video referee helped the Freiburgers in the 1: 1 (0: 1) at Karabakh Agdam, who decided in their favor three times. On the other hand, they ended the group stage of the Europa League with the flattering draw without defeat.

The Freiburg team didn't manage to save a lead over time despite being outnumbered for half an hour at the Azerbaijani champions. But the first place could not be taken away from them before the kick-off. "We played against a very strong opponent. In the end you have to say that we got a lucky point. I can only compliment Karabakh," said Streich.

Freiburg, who were almost completely turned inside out, initially benefited from a converted penalty kick from veteran Nils Petersen (25th minute). A supposed goal by the home side was not recognized due to an offside position (56th). In addition, the referee took back a penalty kick shortly before. After the change of sides, Kevin Medina saw the red card after a rude challenge against Kevin Schade (62nd). All three decisions against Karabakh were made after the intervention of the video assistant. Nevertheless, the home side still came to a draw. Owusu Kwabena equalized in added time (90.1).

Nantes also spends the winter in the Europa League

In addition to the Breisgauers, who were already qualified for the round of 16 before the duel, FC Nantes from Group G is also wintering in the Europa League. Since the French Cup winners also won in the parallel game at Olympiakos Piraeus, Agdam fell back to third place. It is not yet clear who the Freiburg team will play against in the next round. The draw will take place on February 24, 2023.

Due to the good starting position, the only thing that mattered to the guests was to finish the group stage in a friendly way. Coach Christian Streich made it clear before departure that he did not want to give up the game without a fight. "It goes without saying that we give everything," he said. After all, it's still about something for the other teams, says Streich.

Streich changes to ten positions

Nonetheless, he made ten positions in the Bundesliga game compared to the 2-0 win at FC Schalke 04, giving many top performers who have been under a lot of pressure lately a breather. "We let some players play who haven't played that much lately," said the coach. Only captain Christian Günter remained in the starting XI.

The hosts were the more active team because the missing automatisms were clearly recognizable at the sports club. The processes and walking routes were always wrong. And yet, after surviving the pressure phase, Freiburg cheered. Petersen kept his nerve on the penalty kick and scored his first competitive goal since April 10.

Until the change of sides, Streich's pros had the game a little better under control. They were lucky shortly after the restart when the referee decided offside twice after consulting the video referee. Outnumbered, Karabakh managed to reward themselves with a draw for their fighting performance.

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