Football exotic Qarabag puts pressure on: Freiburg starts shakily in the European adventure

Started strong, then dropped sharply: SC Freiburg makes it exciting when they return to the Europa League.

Football exotic Qarabag puts pressure on: Freiburg starts shakily in the European adventure

Started strong, then dropped sharply: SC Freiburg makes it exciting when they return to the Europa League. Christian Streich's team will play two different periods against the exotic from Azerbaijan, Qarabag Agdam.

First delivered, then trembled: Despite a blatant drop in performance after a strong start, SC Freiburg celebrated a successful European Cup comeback after 3192 days of abstinence. The surprise leaders of the Bundesliga won 2-1 (2-1) against Azerbaijan's champions Qarabag Agdam at the start of the group stage in the Europa League.

Vincenzo Grifo (7th) from the penalty spot and Ritsu Doan (15th) scored for Freiburg, who last made it into the group stage in 2013 - but then missed out on making it into the knockout phase. Marko Vesovic (39th) was successful for Qarabag. After Sunday's league game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Freiburg have to play Olympiacos Piraeus in the second group game on Thursday next week.

In front of 32,800 spectators, the hosts went to work offensively right from the start. Maximilian Eggestein after 23 seconds and Doan (2nd) caused danger early on in front of the guests' goal. Shortly thereafter, Grifo scored from the point. Referee Erik Lambrechts from Belgium had awarded a penalty for a foul on Matthias Ginter after studying the video.

Just two minutes after taking the lead, the Japanese player Doan missed a great chance to score the second goal for the Freiburg team, who were acting with pressure and had to do without Roland Sallai and Manuel Gulde in addition to their long-term injuries. A little later, Doan did better and skilfully completed a solo attempt.

In the middle of the first half, coach Christian Streich's team took it easy at first, but then Freiburg even became passive. In the 32nd minute Abdellah Zoubir had the first chance for Qarabag. Shortly thereafter, Vesovic punished the phlegmatic phase of the hosts. Eggestein and SC goalkeeper Mark Flekken did not look good when they conceded.

At the beginning of the second half there were no signs of improvement from Freiburg's point of view. Kwabwena Owusu was close to equalizing for the Azerbaijanis (47'). Even in the minutes that followed, the equalizer was in the air. Far too little came from Freiburg.

After about an hour, the guests also slacked off and the game went through a phase without any real highlights. It wasn't until the 69th minute that Grifo caused a bit of a stir again with a flick from the edge of the penalty area. After all, Freiburg managed to manage the lead better again.

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