SC Freiburg 1-1 Hoffenheim: Home side hold on for valuable point
Image credit: kicker

The points were shared at the Schwarzwald-stadion on Saturday afternoon, as the game was a tale of two halves. Immanuel Höhn netted his first Bundesliga goal, before Kevin Volland levelled with a quite remarkable goal. Hoffenheim battered Freiburg in the second-half, but could not find a way past Roman Bürki.

Christian Streich's men picked up a massive three points away at fellow strugglers Hertha BSC last weekend, even with star-striking duo Admir Mehmedi and Nils Petersen. Unsurprisingly, the Freiburg boss kept faith in the side that picked up the win in the capital and named an unchanged starting eleven.

Hoffenheim also picked up an important win in their quest for European football, with Sebastian Rudy striking in the 93rd minute to beat VfB Stuttgart. Markus Gisdol would have been hoping for a slightly easier ride this time and made two changes to that team. Sven Schipplock and Nadiem Amiri dropped to the bench, meaning Anthony Modeste and Sejad Salihovic earned starting berths.

Oliver Baumann was recieving a less-than-friendly welcome back to his old club, the first time he's done so since joining Hoffenheim. He was called into action early on, getting down well to deny Vladimir Darida's well-struck shot.

The visitors were struggling to get a foothold in the game; Modeste's inability to hold up any long balls forward meant that the midfield and defence were constantly under pressure. Freiburg were doing their best to force an early opening goal, though David Abraham and Ermin Bicakcic were coping well with the aerial threat.

Hoffenheim couldn't hold the hosts back for much longer and their resistance was broken after twenty-five minutes. A great ball to the back post from Jonathan Schmid's free-kick found Immanuel Höhn, the centre-back volleyed home with the assurance of a top striker. He gave Baumann no chance and Freiburg a deserved lead, much to the joy of the fans behind that goal.

When the side from Sinsheim finally had a chance, Modeste's rotten start continued as he almost found the corner flag with a wayward volley. However, out of absolutely nothing, they were level.

Modeste finally managed to hold the ball up and set it beautifully for Kevin Volland. The highly desirable youngster raced onto the ball and struck it on the half-volley, his twenty-five yard strike swerved out of Roman Bürki's reach and in the top corner; a quite magnificent strike in the minutes leading up to half-time.

Primin Schwegler was taken off just before the end of the first-half, as he'd been lucky to stay on the pitch moments earlier. He'd already been booked and then went in late on Felix Klaus. The Swiss midfielder was spared red by Peter Gagelmann and Gisdol took the sensible option to replace him before he picked up another yellow card.

Modeste had seemingly found his mojo and nearly put Hoffenheim in front, though he just couldn't stretch far enough to meet a cross from the right. Moments later he went even closer, this time curling a magnificent effort onto the back stantion.

Bürki was called into action by Eugen Polanski's stunning half-volley, which produced a finger-tip save of the highest quality from Freiburg's shot-stopper. The Pole let fly from 25-yards, only for Bürki to touch it onto the post.

Shots continued to fly towards goal at both ends, as Baumann almost parried Darida's shpt to Maximillian Philipp's feet. Roberto Firmino somehow put Volland's cross wide from three yards, after the latter had beat three players to set up the chance.

The game remained that way, although Marc Torrejon picked up a red card in the final minute for a rash tackle on Tarik Elyounoussi. With neither able to find a winning goal, on reflection, a draw was probably a fair result. Freiburg dominated the first-half, while Hoffenheim enjoyed the better chances in the second.

Freiburg remained in 16th place, ahead of their game with Bayer Leverkusen next Saturday, just a point above Hertha but only three from Mainz in tenth.

The point means Hoffenheim stay in seventh, now four points behind Augsburg in the final Europa League place. They take on Mainz next weekend, hopeful of closing the cap to sixth place.

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