bundesliga

Masaya Okugawa pulls the strings as Arminia Bielefeld fight back to hold Freiburg

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Masaya Okugawa was in inspired form as Arminia Bielefeld staged an impressive second-half fightback to come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in Freiburg.

Freiburg 2-2 Arminia Bielefeld
Goals: 1-0 Haberer (6'), 2-0 Jeong 46' (assist: Günter), 1-2 Okugawa 60' (assist: Serra), 2-2 Lasme 87' (assist: Hack)

The Black Forest side began with purpose and deservedly took the lead on six minutes when Jannik Haberer produced a brilliant volley on the edge of the area after Bielefeld only half-cleared a corner. They could have doubled their advantage on the quarter-hour mark when Lucas Höler and Roland Sallai combined to tee up Jeong following a defensive lapse, but the South Korean hit the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat. Indeed, Bielefeld’s Stefan Ortega was by far the busier of the two custodians and produced a number of fine stops to prevent his side falling further behind, notably a fingertip save from Jeong’s glancing header and a point-blank block to thwart Sallai. There was very little to see at the other end of the pitch, such was Freiburg’s stranglehold on proceedings, although Okugawa very nearly equalised with a curling effort from the left that sailed narrowly wide of the far post.

Jeong was not to be denied in the second half, though, and got his goal within seconds of the restart with a superb glancing header from Christian Günter’s left-wing cross. The match remained largely one-way traffic towards the Bielefeld area at this point, and Jeong almost produced a carbon copy of Haberer’s effort with an eye-catching volley that Oretga did well to save. The visitors pulled a goal back against the run of play, though, as Okugawa reproduced his earlier curling strike from the left, only this time it whistled into the corner to give Bielefeld a lifeline. The 25-year-old could even have levelled the score a short while later following a mazy run into the box, but he scuffed his shot wide from eight years out. Momentum was very much with Frank Kramer's side, though, and they were rewarded late on when substitute Bryan Lasme squeezed a shot inside Benjamin Uphoff's near post from a tight angle to earn a much-needed point in Bielefeld's battle against relegation.

Match stats

  • Uphoff made his Bundesliga debut here, as a replacement for Mark Flekken in goal.
  • Haberer's goal was his second in the league this season, having previously hit the target away to Bayern Munich on Matchday 11.
  • His strike was also Freiburg's seventh from a corner this season, a league high.
  • Jeong netted for the fourth time in 2021/22, and third with a header.
  • Freiburg have now scored 11 headers this term, equalling their club record for a single season.
  • Okugawa has now scored in three consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time in his career.

Watch: Okugawa on Bielefeld's fightback

Line-ups

Freiburg: Uphoff – Kübler, Lienhart, K. Schlotterbeck (Gulde 70'), Günter (c) – Haberer (Eggestein 63'), Höfler – Sallai (Schade 70'), Jeong (Demirovic 88'), Grifo – Höler
Unused subs: Atubolu, Schmid, Keitel, Petersen, Weißhaupt
Out:
Flekken (not included), Keitel (groin), N. Schlotterbeck (not included), Sildillia (not included)
Coach:
Christian Streich

Bielefeld: Ortega – Brunner (c), Pieper (Laursen 85'), Nilsson (Ramos 82'), Andrade – Schöpf, Vasiliadis (Castro 82') – Wimmer, Okugawa, Krüger (Lasme 66') – Serra (Hack 66')
Unused subs: Kapino, Czyborra, Fernandes, Cherny
Out: 
De Medina (illness), Klos (suspended), Kunze (suspended), Prietl (match fitness)
Coach: 
Frank Kramer

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