SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2-3 SC Freiburg: A five-goal thriller in Fürth

SC Freiburg kept up their promotion push as they overcame Greuther Fürth in a thriller of a match.

SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2-3 SC Freiburg: A five-goal thriller in Fürth
A thriller in Fürth | Credit: Sportschau
Greuther Fürth
2 3
SC Freiburg
Greuther Fürth: Mielitz; Heidinger, Caligiuri, Franke (Röcker, min. 84), Gießelmann; Rapp (Hirsch, min. 70), Stiepermann; Berisha, Zulj, Freis; Wurtz (Vukušić, min. 76).
SC Freiburg : Schwolow; Stenzel, Höhn, Kempf, Günter; Frantz (Nielsen, min. 74), Abrashi, Höfler; Grifo; Niederlechner (Torrejón, min. 79), Philipp (Petersen, min. 60).
SCORE: 0-1, min. 2, Niederlechner. 1-1, min. 24, Freis. 1-2, min. 33, Philipp. 2-2, min. 50, Zulj. 2-3, min. 58, Grifo.
REFEREE: Christian Dingert (GER) Booked: Günter (min. 55) Höfler (min. 89)
INCIDENTS: 2. Bundesliga match between Greuther Fürth and SC Freiburg at the Stadion am Laubenweg.

SC Freiburg kept up their 2. Bundesliga promotion push, as they secured a tight fought three goals to two victory against Greuther Fürth on Monday night in Franconia.

In a topsy turvy affair, the away side took the lead on two occasions before being pegged back by Stefan Ruthenbeck's hosts before Vincenzo Grifo got the winner mid-way through the second half.

Man of the moment, Florian Niderlechner, gave die Breisgauer an early lead but former Freiburg man Sebastian Freis levelled proceedings after a jinking run. Maximilian Philipp, who had been archetypal in Niederlechner's goal, restored the away sides lead just before the break with a long range strike. However once again die Kleeblätter struck back as Robert Zulj slotted home just after the break, before Grifo eventually got the winner that keeps SC Freiburg in touch with their promotion rivals.

Philipp at the fore, as Freiburg take control eventually

It was the perfect start for promotion chasing SC Freiburg, as they took the lead after only two minutes. It came in the form of none other than man of the moment Florian Niederlechner. The burly 1. FSV Mainz 05 loanee took the ball in his stride after a Maximilian Philipp flick on, and finished well at a tight angle as Sebastian Mielitz advanced to meet him.  A sixth goal in five games for the man who shone with 1. FC Heidenheim in the same division, before making the move to the Bundesliga outfit, Mainz. The year and a half loan spell in Breisgau offering a reprieve for Niederlechner, after a poor first half of the campaign in the top division.

There weren't many in the Stadion am Laubenweg to see the goal however; after both sets of fans had organised a ten minute protest against Monday night fixtures. A subdued atmosphere in Franconia as die Breisgauer took an early lead.

With the added impetus the goal gave them, Christian Streich's side sprayed the ball around the pitch with real pomp and looked to extend their lead. Philipp, who had so far excelled in the air, saw a glanced headed effort from a Vincenzo Grifo corner go just wide of the Fürth post.

Yet, after riding the further Freiburg pressure die Kleeblätter, Greuther Fürth grew into the game. Alexander Schwolow was forced into a number of good saves from the Fürth forwards; but the real story came in the form of former Freiburg man Sebastian Freis, who equalised proceedings on the night.

Freis, deployed on the left wing by Stefan Ruthenbeck, picked up the ball from deep and advanced towards his former sides penalty area. He kept cool when he entered the box and jinked past both Pascal Stenzel and Immanuel Höhn before slotting past Schwolow into the far corner. Fate that the man who endured a retched time in South-West Germany, would be at the center of die Breisgauer's downfall. 

A number of defensive errors in the build up from a Freiburg perspective, who have the formerly injured Marc Torrejón to come back into the back four.

The visitors were soon however back in their stride and once again had the scoreline to their advantage. Once again it was Philipp at the heart of the action; as the Berlin native rifled home from twenty five yards out. Marco Caligiuri looked to have dealt with another Freiburg long ball, but the second ball fell to young attacker who did the rest; Sebastian Mielitz perhaps feeling he could've done better with own efforts, as despite getting a hand to Phlipp's strike, he couldn't prevent it from going in. 

Philipp gives Freiburg the lead for the second time | Credit: Sportschau
Philipp gives Freiburg the lead for the second time | Credit: Sportschau

Grifo comes up trumps

With the topsy turvy nature of the game, it came as no surprise when Ruthenbeck's Kleeblätter secured a quickfire equaliser at the beginning of the second half. Characterised by poor defending, Höhn was once again at fault for the goal, extending the trend as Robert Zulj grabbed his sixth of the season beating his tally for the entirety of last season. The Austrian did well to anticipate and slot home, after the SC Freiburg defender had missed his clearance. 

Within the hosts ranks was young central midfielder Nicolai Rapp, who was making his 2. Bundesliga debut. However it had been a debut to forget so far for the man from Heidelberg - he hadn't covered himself in glory for Philipp's goal, as he gave the ball away in the build up and unfortunately he was at the center of the action once again for the wrong reasons.

Rapp dalied on the ball inside his own box, upon which Vincenzo Grifo seized. The Italian jinked past the youngster's attempt at a recovery tackle before firing past Mielitz; this time the former SC Freiburg goalkeeper left with no chance. Later, both Niederlechner and the second half substitute Nils Petersen, who has been usurped by his burly counterpart, had efforts go agonisingly close to a Freiburg fourth that would have surely ended the game as a contest.

The contest was far from over however and Greuther Fürth continually pushed for an equaliser, which would've been the third of the evening in what proved a real thriller of a game. However, whereas their own Sebastian Mielitz had proved shakey when challenged they found the goalkeeper at the other end, Schwolow, in fine form.

The impervious figure of the 6ft 2" stopper coming up trumps on a number of occasions and to produce a whole host of point blank saves. Luck was even on his side, as when he didn't come up with a fine save the post came to his rescue and denied die Kleeblätter a perhaps deserved equaliser. 

With both their promotion rivals, RB Leipzig and 1. FC Nürnberg, winning over the weekend, Christian Streich recognised the importance of the situation. He brought on Torrejón, in light on the poor standard of defending throughout, and deployed a back five and despite considerable Greuther Fürth pressure, die Breisgauer were able to hold on for a hugely important three points in the race for 2. Bundesliga promotion.