bundesliga

Michael Gregoritsch inspires as high-flying Freiburg edge past Mainz

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It was very much the fabled game of two halves at the Europa-Park Stadion on Matchday 8 as Michael Gregoritsch inspired the home side in the first 45 minutes before Mainz dominated the second period in what was ultimately a hard-fought 2-1 victory for Freiburg.

Freiburg 2-1 Mainz
Goals: 1-0
Gregoritsch 3' (assist: Eggestein), 2-0 Kyereh (37'), 2-1 Aaron 52' (assist: Burkardt)

Having gone into the international break after recording back-to-back goalless draws, Freiburg began eager to return to winning ways ahead of a busy run of Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League fixtures in October. It took them just three minutes to find a breakthrough when Ritsu Doan dummied a Maximilian Eggestein ball into the box, giving Gregoritsch the space to smash in the opening goal. The Austrian forward was seemingly involved in everything after that, taking six of his team’s eight shots in the first half alone, including flashing a free-kick from the edge of the area narrowly over the bar. He was instrumental in his team’s second goal too, flicking a beautifully disguised Vincenzo Grifo cross onto the bar, with the rebound falling kindly for Daniel-Kofi Kyereh to tap in from close range.

Dominik Kohr had Mainz’s first real shot in anger early in the second half as the visitors endeavoured to kick-start a comeback, and while his shot was blocked the effort did have the desired effect as they soon pulled a goal back. Jonathan Burkardt snuck behind the Freiburg defence and although he mis-kicked his shot it fell kindly for Aaron Martin to prod in unmarked at the back post. Mainz grew into the game after that and Burkardt - who only had nine touches in the first half – was suddenly everywhere, drawing a fine save from Mark Flekken from distance before volleying over at the back post following a corner. Karim Onisiwo and Aaron both forced Flekken into action in the closing stages and Silvan Widmer had a shot cleared off the line as Mainz pushed for an equaliser, but try as they might the ball simply would not go in, leaving Freiburg to breathe a sigh of relief when the full-time whistle came.

Match stats

  • Kohr made his 50th competitive game for Mainz here.
  • Gregoritsch now has a team-high four league goals this season. Three of those have put his side 1-0 up.
  • Kyereh's goal was his first in the Bundesliga following his summer move from St. Pauli.
  • His strike was also the 438th Bundesliga goal scored under head coach Christian Streich's tenure, setting a new club record after beating the previous best mark set under Volker Finke between 1991 and 2007.
  • Aaron scored his second goal of the season and third in the Bundesliga overall. It was his first from open play following two direct free-kicks.
  • Nelson Weiper became Mainz's youngest ever Bundesliga debutant after taking to the pitch at the age of 17 years, 198 days.

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Watch: Daniel-Kofi Kyereh - 'A perfect match'

Teams

Freiburg: Flekken - Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Eggestein (Keitel 90'+3), Höfler - Doan (Schade 69'), Kyereh (Jeong 69'), Grifo (Weißhaupt 84') – Gregoritsch (Petersen 84')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Schmid, Kübler, Schlotterbeck
Out: Ezekwem (muscular), Höler (match fitness), Sallai (eye socket)
Coach: Christian Streich

Mainz: Zentner - Widmer (c), Bell (Fernandes 66'), Caci – Da Costa (Fulgini 77'), Kohr, Barreiro (Lee 66'), Aaron - Burkardt (Burgzorg 77'), Stach (Weiper 86') – Onisiwo
Unused subs: Dahmen, Barkok, Tauer, Bobzien
Out: Hack (suspended), Mustapha (thigh)
Coach: Bo Svensson

Watch: Christian Streich - 'We're all working hard'