Luca Waldschmidt spot on as Freiburg return to winning ways against Hoffenheim
Germany forward Luca Waldschmidt scored the only goal of the game as Freiburg returned to winning ways at home to Hoffenheim on Matchday 21.
Freiburg 1-0 Hoffenheim
Goals: 1-0 Waldschimdt (pen. 40')
Having lost their previous two games without scoring, Freiburg began this match determined to return to winning ways in front of their own fans and very nearly took an early lead when Waldschmidt’s header from Lucas Höler’s cross drew a good reaction save from Philipp Pentke. The visitors were also fired up for the local derby, however, and were full of confidence following back-to-back league wins in recent weeks. Christoph Baumgartner had their first chance, which was well saved by Alexander Schwolow, before the Freiburg goalkeeper made another important stop from Munas Dabbur. It was the hosts who took a narrow lead into the break though, with Waldschmidt scoring from the spot after Christian Günter had been brought down by Stefan Posch.
The chances kept coming in an entertaining second half too, with Posch going close to making amends within moments of the restart, only to head wide from a corner. Manuel Gulde had a header cleared off the line at the other end of the pitch, before Pentke was called into action once more to deny Waldschmidt’s low drive from the edge of the box. Hoffenheim increased the pressure in search of an equaliser as the match wore on, with Baumgartner hitting the post and seeing his follow-up effort blocked, before Ihlas Bebou’s wicked long-range shot was saved by Schwolow. Alfred Schreuder's men pushed until the very last minute, with Benjamin Hübner hitting the post late on with a header, but ultimately a resolute home rearguard managed to hold on for a much-needed win.
- Waldschmidt has scored all six Bundesliga penalties he has taken, three of which have come this season.
- The striker was making his first Bundesliga start since Matchday 9, and it was the first time Freiburg had both him and Nils Petersen in the side sine Matchday 3.
- Freiburg have been awarded six spot-kicks in 2019/20, more than any other team.
- Robin Koch had not missed a single minute of Bundesliga action this term prior to his injury-enforced substitution in the first half.
- The Black Forest club have been saved by the woodwork on a league-high 13 occasions this season.
- Maximilian Beier replaced Niklas Süle as Hoffenheim's youngest ever Bundesliga debutant at the age of 17 years and 114 days.
Watch: Waldschmidt: "We won as a team"
Freiburg: Schwolow - Schmid, Koch (Gulde 28'), Heintz, Günter (c) - Abrashi, Höfler - Kwon (Grifo 83'), Höler, Waldschmidt (Haberer 73') - Petersen
Unused subs: Flekken, Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Frantz, Sallai, Tempelmann
Out: Kübler (knee)
Coach: Christian Streich
Hoffenheim: Pentke - Posch (Bebou 60'), Bicakcic, Hübner (c) - Kaderabek, Rudy (Bruun Larsen 82'), Grillitsch, Samassekou, Skov (Beier 88') - Dabbur, Baumgartner
Unused subs: Esser, Stafylidis, Nordtveit, Zuber, Ribeiro
Out: Adamyan (ankle), Baumann (knee), Belfodil (knee), Elmkies (knock), Geiger (thigh)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
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