FFC Frankfurt 1-1 SC Freiburg: Drab Monday night draw

A rocket from Sophie Schmidt and a deflected effort from Hasret Kayikci meant that Frankfurt and Freiburg would have to settle for a point a piece and lose ground on the top three in the Frauen Bundesliga.

Fast start for Freiburg

It didn’t take long for Freiburg to claim the first real attempt of the game, just three minutes in, when Hasret Kayikci received the ball from Lena Petermann before pulling the trigger from outside the box, her driven effort turned around by Desiree Schumann. More patient in the build-up, Freiburg were seeing the better of the chance and Schumann had to make herself big as she charged down to block Lena Magull’s effort when the young attacker had nipped in behind and was closing in on the box. Marith Prießen the next to come up big for Frankfurt as she eased Jobina Lahr off of the ball twice within a minute, the gaps appearing everywhere in the home half.

Having less luck getting their game going, Mandy Islacker was on her toes to get to a long ball, a nose ahead of the fast-closing defenders, her angled shot had Laura Benkarth worried before it curled wide. Still struggling to offer a huge amount going forward, Frankfurt took the lead half-way through the half as a free kick worked its’ way out to Sophie Schmidt 30 yards out. Having no hesitation Schmidt struck the ball on the volley, connecting perfectly to send it arrowing through the air over Benkarth and just under the bar.

Schumann worked

The goal rocked the visitors as the hosts grew in confidence, their lead their opening and their spring-board. Shaking themselves out of it, Freiburg went again, a deft ball in front the right found Carolin Simon unmarked at the far post but leaning back the defender could only chip the ball over the bar. The chances didn’t stop for the visitors and Kayikci was soon left to wonder how she hadn’t restored parity when Schumann pulled off an acrobatic save to turn her header onto the bar.

Leaving a crowd of players in her wake, Jackie Groenen was next to come close for the home side, having dragged the defence out of place she was free to let fly, her effort just wide of the near post. Better at getting numbers forward, SCF had the last chance of the half, with Lena Petermann aware she was in an offside position she left the ball for Giulia Gwinn to come onto, the 17 year-old’s connection enough to beat Schumann but so too the post.

The match seemed to slow after the break, though the hosts had much more of a presence and began to balance out the scales there was a definite lack of quality from both throughout, the match almost with the feel of a pre-season game. Even with the more open nature of the game and the personnel being refreshed with both benches coming into play there never seemed to be a real chance for an opening from either; the game surprisingly flat.

Unexpected parity

When Freiburg finally found their equaliser, it was borne more of sloppy work from Frankfurt than a cutting move from the visitors. Sarah Puntigam’s ball into the area slithered through to Kayikci who swept the ball goalwards on the turn, Laura Störzel’s foot just about in the way enough to take the ball off course and push it towards the bottom corner. A bobbly shot with little pace, the deflection had enough to take it from Schumann – who’d arguably been the best on the pitch – her delayed dive all too late as the ball slipped over the line.

The goal helped to raise the tempo a fraction, both sides looking for a winner to close the gap on Bayern Munich, Schumann back to her best when tested. Still having the better of the second-half, Groenen’s shot from outside the box had just enough on it to evade Benkarth but slipped wide, the clock with barely anything left on it; the last real chance of the game for the hosts. A free kick followed by a corner saw SCF almost snatch it in the last knockings, the ball in destined for the far post but with Kathrin Hendrich guarding the upright the ball wasn’t permitted the chance to cross the line.

The draw the second they’ve played out in the league this season, enough to keep both out of touching distance of the top three.