Germany U21 international Luca Waldschmidt found the target as Freiburg left it late to record a 3-0 win over Mainz on Saturday, with all three goals coming in the final ten minutes.
Freiburg 3-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Höler (81'), 2-0 Schmid (84'), 3-0 Waldschmidt (pen. 87')
Freiburg's home form may have kept them out of danger last season, but Christian Streich's men needed a while to get going at the Schwarzwald Stadion here, with Danny Latza and Robin Quaison both testing goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow in the first 10 minutes. Waldschmidt gave the home crowd something to shout about shortly afterwards, however, providing the highlight of the first half with a stunning volley from distance that Florian Müller did well to keep out of the top corner. Freiburg subsequently grew into the game and almost took the lead through Robin Koch, whose glancing header from a corner sailed just wide. It remained an entertaining encounter until the break, with a goal all that was lacking.
Mainz began the second period determined to remedy that, and put their hosts under a period of sustained pressure. Karim Onisiwo twice went close, first with a smart shot on the turn and then with an effort just wide from distance. Jean-Paul Boetius and Quaison also tried their luck, but Schwolow was equal to anything the visitors threw at him. As was the case in the first 45 minutes, Freiburg gradually improved over time and earned all three points over a dizzying six-minute period in the closing stages. Lucas Höler broke the deadlock after skipping past Alexander Hack and coolly slotting through Müller's legs, and Jonathan Schmid dealt a hammer blow to the visitors with a long-range strike just moments later. Waldschmidt then ensured Freiburg were victorious on Matchday 1 for the first time in 12 years by converting from the spot after he was fouled by Taiwo Awoniyi.
- Waldschmidt has now scored 10 times in his last eight competitive outings (including for Germany's U21s).
- Freiburg had failed to win any of their previous 11 Bundesliga Matchday 1 fixtures (D5, L6).
- Mainz have never won away from home on the opening Matchday of a Bundesliga season (D2, L4) and are yet to keep a clean sheet.
- Mainz had won the previous three encounters with Freiburg, whose last win came in November 2017, with Nils Petersen scoring in the 2-1 victory.
- Höler scored his sixth Bundesliga goal, four of which have been scored in the final 10 minutes.
- Freiburg continued their run of scoring in every Bundesliga home game against Mainz.
Freiburg: Schwolow – Schmid, Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Günter (c) – Borrello (Höler 65'), Gondorf (Frantz 60'), Koch, Höfler – Petersen, Waldschmidt (Abrashi 89')
Unused subs: Thiede, Sallai, Heintz, Kwon, Tempelmann
Out: Flekken (ankle), Haberer (ankle), Itter (ankle), Kübler (ankle), Terrazzino (knee),
Coach: Christian Streich
Mainz: Müller – Brosinski, St. Juste (Hack 80'), Niakhate, Martin – Baku (Öztunali 71'), Fernandes (Awoniyi 84'), Latza (c) – Boetius - Onisiwo, Quaison
Unused subs: Zentner, Pierre-Gabriel, Maxim, Kunde, Burkardt, Martins
Out: Bell (ankle), Ji (knee), Mateta (knee), Meier (muscular), Mwene (knee), Seydel (heel)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz