Freiburg - SC Freiburg threw away a two-goal lead against FC Slovan Liberec to draw 2-2 in their UEFA Europa League group stage opener.

Julian Schuster put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot before Admir Mehmedi extended Freiburg's lead with a powerful shot from 30 yards. Vladyslav Kalitsvintsev and Michael Rabusic completed the visitors' comeback as both sides finished with ten men and a share of the spoils.

Schuster scores from the spot


Freiburg may have struggled in the Bundesliga so far this season, but they started their first Europa League match at a blistering pace, creating a number of early openings. Mehmedi and Jonathan Schmid both flashed early efforts wide of the target before Oliver Sorg almost created a scoring opportunity for himself after a strong run into the penalty area, only to see his shot blocked.

Christian Streich’s side were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Christian Günter was fouled inside the area. Club captain Schuster stepped up to calmly dispatch the resulting penalty, giving the hosts a deserved lead. The hosts soon extended their lead when Mehmedi evaded the challenge of Serhiy Rybalka, before unleashing a powerful effort from range, which Premysl Kovar was unable to keep out.

Liberec fight back


Slovan Liberec hadn’t posed much of an attacking threat in the first period, but managed to halve the deficit after 67 minutes when Oliver Baumann failed to hold on to Kalitsvintsev’s long-range effort. Reeling from the setback Freiburg, who had looked very comfortable up to that point, began to unravel. The visitors took full advantage and found an equaliser with 15 minutes remaining. Mehmedi played a back-pass straight to Rabusic who accepted the gift, side-footing the ball past Baumann to equalise.

Things went from bad to worse for Freiburg when Karim Guede was sent off for a second handball offence two minutes after Slovan Liberec’s equaliser. Rabusic hit the woodwork late on, before Sergiy Rybalka followed Guede down the tunnel for an early shower after picking up a second yellow. Freiburg piled forward late on in the hopes of snatching a winning goal, but it was too little, too late as the Black Forest side had to settle for a point.

Line-ups:

Freiburg: Baumann - Sorg, Krmas, Ginter, Günter - Schuster, Fernandes - Schmid, Kerk (66. Guede) - Mehmedi (90. Coquelin), Hanke (79. Freis). - Trainer: Streich

Liberec: Kovar - Kusnir, Kovac, Kelic, Fleisman - Sackey (62. Kalitwinzew), Rybalka - Delarge, Pavelka, Frydek (46. Sural) - Rabusic. - Trainer: Silhavy