Arminia Bielefeld edged a cagey encounter with Freiburg on Friday night to move out of the relegation zone, with Baptiste Santamaria's own goal handing the promoted side their first home win since January.
Freiburg made a lively start at the SchücoArena, with Santamaria driving to the byline after a cheeky backheel from Wooyeong Jeong, but the Frenchman couldn't quite steer his cross into the danger zone. Bielefeld's newly crowned Rookie of the Month Ritsu Doan tried his luck with an audacious lob from distance, looping his attempt over the bar, before teammate Andreas Voglsammer glanced a header just wide. Voglsammer then had the game's first shot on target, but his close-range effort was straight at Freiburg keeper Florian Müller. Santamaria continued to make a nuisance of himself as he sent in a fine low ball for Roland Sallai, but the Hungarian dragged Freiburg's best chance of the opening period wide of the far post. The visitors had more of the ball in a first half that had plenty of midfield battling but few genuine chances, with Sallai seeing another shot blocked as the sides went in all square at the break.
Bielefeld began the second half on the front foot, with Doan looking to pick out his captain Fabian Klos at the back post, but Keven Schlotterbeck got up well to clear the danger. After a flurry of yellow cards Santamaria tested Stefan Ortega with a cross-cum-shot, before Voglsammer fizzed another effort just wide of Müller's post. Bielefeld finally forged ahead midway through the half, as Arne Maier picked out Masaya Okugawa from a short corner. The Japanese midfielder jinked past his man and unleashed, with his attempt taking a wicked deflection off Santamaria and ending up in the back of the net. The home side thought they had doubled their advantage when Joakim Nilsson leapt above Müller to head in, but replays showed the Swedish defender was offside. Frank Kramer's men had further opportunities to put the game to bed through Doan and Voglsammer, but nevertheless held on for a precious success - their first at home in nearly three months - which lifted them to 14th on Friday night.
- Bielefeld netted on home soil for the first time since 23 January, ending a four-game drought at the SchücoArena.
- It was also their first home win in the Bundesliga since 20 January, when they beat VfB Stuttgart 3-0.
- Santamaria conceded his first own goal in his 25th Bundesliga outing. One of Marcus Thuram's goals in last week's 2-1 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach also went in off the Frenchman.
- Bielefeld have now won all four of their top-flight meetings with Freiburg at home, scoring eight goals and conceding twice.
- Freiburg have lost three straight away games in the Bundesliga for the first time this season.
Watch: Doan: "Today was a very important win!"
Bielefeld: Ortega (c) - Brunner (de Medina 76'), Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui - Okugawa, Prietl, Maier (Kunze 87') - Doan (Gebauer 90'+1) - Klos (Schipplock 90'+1), Voglsammer
Unused subs: Linner, Laursen, van der Hoorn, Seufert, Vlap
Out: Cordova (ill)
Coach: Frank Kramer
Freiburg: Müller - Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Gulde (Heintz 81') - Schmid, Santamaria (Kwon 81'), Keitel, Günter (c) - Sallai (Til 69'), Jeong (Petersen 69'), Haberer (Tempelmann 75')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Kübler, Burkart
Out: Demirovic (suspended), Grifo (not included), Höler (suspended)
Coach: Christian Streich