Despite the win at FSV Mainz 05, which was lost at the last second, the SC Freiburg pros were celebrated like winners by the fans who had traveled with them.
With a 1-1 (0-0) win, the Breisgau team took fourth place in the Bundesliga at the end of the 25th matchday and thus underpinned their ambitions of entering the premier class for the first time. Ritsu Doan put the visitors ahead in the 55th minute in front of a crowd of 26,800, which Karim Onisiwo equalized in the sixth minute of added time. Like Freiburg (46 points), Mainz has been unbeaten in six league games, but did not make any progress in the fight for an international starting place. With 37 points, the Rheinhessen are currently in ninth place.
"Of course it hurts a lot"
"Of course, that hurts a lot. It can't get any worse than in the last minute," said Freiburg's captain Christian Günter on the DAZN streaming service. At the same time, he took the loss of the possible three counters calmly. "We have 46 points, somewhere we have to leave the church in the village." His teammate Vincenzo Grifo saw it similarly. "We would have liked to have taken the three points, but we are in a very good position," he said, but also admitted: "If you get the equalizer at the last second, in the last action, it hurts."
Last-minute goalscorer Onisiwo struggled with the performance of his Mainz team in the second half, but was happy about the late coup. So we are all the happier that we placed the lucky punch. It's nice that I scored today and I'm happy for the team too," said the offensive player.
Both teams got off to a good start and immediately went on the offensive. The first chance belonged to the guests. Kiliann Sildillia bounced the ball surprisingly in front of his feet after a mistake by 05 defender Andreas Hanche-Olsen in the six-yard box, but his shot was blocked by the Norwegian. At the other end, Freiburg goalkeeper Mark Flekken had to use his class to prevent an early deficit when Ludovic Ajorque headed the ball.
As the season progressed, Mainz became more powerful and created better chances. Ajorque scored after almost 20 minutes for the supposed lead, but was previously offside. Flekken fished a free kick from Marcus Ingvartsen (36') out of the corner with a flight save.
game at eye level
Freiburg hardly ever got into the danger zone because the hosts cleverly narrowed the space and didn't allow any combination play. The guests, who hardly felt any after-effects from the 0-2 loss to Juventus three days earlier, mostly tried high balls into the centre. That didn't pose any problems for the Mainz defense.
Even after the change, both teams met in a hard-fought game at eye level. A big mistake in the Mainz defense then led to the lead for the Breisgauer. After a coordination problem between Robin Zentner and defender Edimilson Fernandes, the Mainz goalkeeper hesitated when running out and was left behind by Doan, who tipped the ball past him and pushed it into the empty goal.
Mainz coach Bo Svensson reacted to the deficit and brought on goalscorer Onisiwo for Ingvartsen after the hour. But almost nothing went forward for the hosts. The SC now had the events largely under control and cleverly kept the opponent away from their own goal.
Mainz's final offensive seemed to fizzle out without effect when Onisiwo still scored on assist from Ajorque and let the home side celebrate at least one point with his ninth goal of the season.