Estoril - SC Freiburg’s hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League knockout stage hit a setback after they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at Estoril Praia in a game they ended with nine men.

Luis Leal had the best opportunity of a tame first half, before Carlitos Alberto struck the bar for Estoril after the restart. Nicolas Höfler and Karim Guede were both sent off late on for second bookable offences, but Christian Streich’s team held on to claim a point.

Chances few and far between


Estoril had managed to frustrate Freiburg at the Mage Solar Stadion a fortnight ago and almost opened the scoring in Portugal when Leal managed to outmuscle Pavel Krmas inside the penalty area and get his shot away, but Oliver Baumann was off his line quickly to deny the striker. At the other end, Vladimir Darida’s tame free-kick failed to trouble Vagner da Silva in the Estoril goal.

Carlitos Alberto and Felipe Goncalvas combined well to set up Leal on the half-hour mark, but the 26-year-old failed to test Baumann with a scuffed shot from around 15 yards. Heavy rain was making it difficult for both sides to maintain possession, ensuring clear-cut chances were at a premium as the half petered out. The closest Freiburg came to scoring was when Oliver Sorg’s long-range effort flew wide of Vagner’s right-hand post.

Portuguese pressure


Estoril piled on the pressure after the restart and were unlucky not to break the deadlock when Carlitos Alberto’s header cannoned off the crossbar with Baumann beaten. Seba, who scored in the 1-1 draw at the Mage Solar Stadion, then went close with an effort from inside the area as Estoril looked to make the most of their terrirotial advantage.

With four minutes remaining, Höfler received a second yellow card for handling the ball, before Guede received his second booking of the night moments later after he had tugged Seba to the ground. The 21-year-old forward almost made Freiburg pay for those late lapses in discipline, but Baumann saved well to keep the score at 0-0 and send Freiburg home with a hard-earned point.

Line-ups:

Estoril: Vagner - Mano, Tavares, Fernandes, Babanco - Goncalo - Filipe Goncalves (Joao Pedro Galvao 81'), Evandro - Carlitos (Balboa 67'), Seba - Leal (Lopes 81')

Freiburg: Baumann - Sorg, Krmas, Diagne, Lorenzoni - Höfler - Kerk (Mehmedi 46'), Darida (Freis 66'), Coquelin (Günther 69'), Pilar - Guede

Sent off: Höfler (86'), Guede (88')