Freiburg after a dramatic comeback in the round of 16

In a thrilling Europa League game against Lens, SC Freiburg already looked like the loser. But a dramatic comeback secured their place in the round of 16.

SC Freiburg made it into the round of 16 of the Europa League in dramatic fashion. After the 0-0 draw in the first leg, the Breisgauers prevailed in the second leg in front of their home crowd with 3:2 (0:2, 2:2) in extra time against RC Lens and are in the next round.

Things didn’t look good for Freiburg at first. In a weak first half, David da Costa gave the visitors the lead in the 28th minute after a mistake by Freiburg keeper Noah Atubolu. Before the break, Elye Wahi increased the score in the second minute of added time.

In the second half, Freiburg acted more courageously and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty in the 60th minute. Seven minutes later it was Roland Sallai who scored the 1-2 goal for Freiburg. As a result, the home team started unconditionally. Thanks to some strong saves from Lens keeper Brice Samba, there was initially no further goal. It was only in the second minute of added time that Sallai was able to equalize with his second goal and save Freiburg into extra time.

It was Michael Gregoritsch who scored the decisive goal to make it 3-2 in the 99th minute.

This is how the game went:

“We only have a chance if we reach the maximum of our capabilities,” SC coach Streich said before kick-off, and Vincenzo Grifo called for “efficiency.” As in the first leg, the set-piece specialist initially took a seat on the bench, with Merlin Röhl starting in his place. Matthias Ginter returned to the squad after Achilles tendon problems and, like Grifo, came onto the field shortly before the end of regular time.

Despite personnel shortages, Freiburg’s defense was convincing in Lens, and the SCF was compact this time too. However, there was a lack of penetration going forward. Both the hosts and the guests lacked the necessary bite in the final third. There were no compelling chances, both teams acted patiently.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick AubameyangMarseilles



Joao PedroBrighton



Romelu LukakuAS Rome



Fotis IoannidisPanathinaikos



Mojmír ChytilSl. Prague



But then the French cheered – at the invitation of Noah Atubolu. The SC goalkeeper clumsily cleared a free kick with one fist, and Pereira da Costa thanked him. Things got even better for Lens: After a SC free kick, the ball hit the post in the confusion (33′) before Wahi struck in stoppage time.

In the second half, Streich strengthened the offensive with Noah Weißhaupt and Michael Gregoritsch. Freiburg ran, Lens managed – and was lucky that referee Rade Obrenovic didn’t award a penalty after a tackle on Röhl. A little later, Sallai gave new hope with a free kick before scoring a celebrated goal to equalize in stoppage time. Gregoritsch then finally turned the game around.