Vladimir Darida scored after eleven minutes to hand the Black Forest club an early advantage, but it was a tale of missed chances thereafter, with Estoril's deserved equaliser coming through Seba in the 53rd minute.
Good start, familiar problems
A Freiburg side searching for their first European win since 2001 were given the perfect start thanks to Czech midfielder Darida. His deflected strike, after good work from Jonathan Schmid to cut the ball back, gave the hosts a deserved lead after both Admir Mehmedi and Jonathan Schuster had threatened.
As the half wore on, however, Freiburg succumbed to the season-long affliction of failing to capitalise on a lead. Despite promising movement from Francis Coquelin and Darida, as well as a customarily leggy performance from Gelson Fernandes in the heart of midfield, the Black Forest side failed to carve out any real opportunities, and were lucky when Estoril midfielder Evandro blazed over before the break.
Freiburg’s complacency was punished after 53 minutes when Estoril’s lively Brazilian Seba hit the net with an equaliser. Estoril were the stronger side in the ensuing exchanges, full-back Babanco threatening from distance, while Oliver Baumann in the Freiburg goal was being called off his line and into action more than he would have liked.
Just as Estoril were ruing their missed chances, it was Freiburg’s turn to try and hit back in the final stages. Coquelin, ever willing but rarely with a final product, hit his half-volley from the edge of the box straight at keeper Vagner, and the introduction of Vaclav Pilar almost led immediately to a goal for Mehmedi. Ultimately though, it was a familiar story for Freiburg, one of failing to capitalise on an early lead.
SC Freiburg: Baumann - Hedenstad (Pilar, 66'), Ginter, Höhn, Lorenzoni - Gelson Fernandes (Höfler, 46'), Schuster - Schmid, Darida (Hanke, 77'), Coquelin - Mehmedi
Estoril Praia: Vagner - Mano, Tavares, Ruben Fernandes, Babanco - Goncalo, Goncalves - Seba (Bruno Lopes, 89'), Evandro, Joao Pedro – Leal (Balboa, 79')
Goals: 1-0, Darida (11'), 1-1, Seba (53')
Check out the best bits from a Freiburg club legend, and a rather recognisable face nowadays on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: