Freiburg edge Hoffenheim in seven-goal epic to take provisional fourth in the table


A sensational Saturday evening contest saw Freiburg triumph against a battling Hoffenheim by the odd goal in seven, with Christian Streich's side rewarded for their efforts with an overnight place in the Bundesliga's top four.

Hoffenheim 3-4 Freiburg
Goals: 0-1 Sallai 23' (assist: Höler), 1-1 Kramaric 32' (assist: Raum), 2-1 Stiller 49' (assist: Kramaric), 2-2 Günter 50' (assist: Grifo), 2-3 Höler 70' (assist: Günter), 2-4 Jeong 73'(assist: Schlotterbeck), 3-4 Rudy 84' (assist: Raum)

This Matchday 32 fixture marked the third time these teams had faced each other this season. DFB Cup finalists Freiburg ousted Hoffenheim from that tournament at the quarter-final stage in January. It was the Sinsheimers who took the spoils in added time in the sides' Bundesliga meeting back in December, however, a reverse that prompted Freiburg winger Roland Sallai to call for "revenge" against their hosts in the build-up to this latest encounter. Following a wonderfully intricate move involving Maximilian Eggestein and Lucas Höler in the 22nd minute, Sallai sent a sumptuous first-time finish into the corner of the net to exact his own personal payback against Freiburg's opponents. Winless in their previous six games, Hoffenheim were well aware of the importance of a win to keep their hopes of finishing among the European places alive. To that end, Andrej Kramaric's near-post finish from David Raum's excellent centre provided some home relief.

Such have been Hoffenheim's struggles of late, Sebastian Hoeneß's men were close to matching relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld's points return in recent times. Not that there was evidence of such when the men in blue burst out of the blocks to take the lead after the interval. Delighting the home crowd with a little wizardry outside the Freiburg area, Kramaric then picked out Angelo Stiller inside the area and the midfielder belted one past the despairing dive of Mark Flekken. With the home supporters barely back in their seats, Christian Streich's men were level. From the moment Vincenzo Grifo played a short pass to Christian Günter outside the box, the 29-year-old was eyeing up a shot which he eventually released, looking on in delight as it arched away from Oliver Baumann and in. Aggrieved at having earlier given up their lead, there was no let-up from the visitors as they went in search of more. Höler headed home at the back post from Günter's set-piece and Freiburg were back in front. Another substitute, Jeong Woo-yeong, then put daylight between the teams, first controlling a long ball from Nico Schlotterbeck and then applying a neat finish. A Sebastian Rudy goal set up a grandstand finish - during which Flekken saved superbly from Kasim Adams - but Freiburg ultimately held out to move into provisional fourth place in the standings.

Match stats

  • Sallai has scored four times this season. Today's was his first goal away from home.
  • Kramaric has scored eight goals in ten appearances against Freiburg. The Croatian both scored and assisted in the same game for the for the first time this season.
  • Raum set up a goal from a cross for the seventh time this season. Only Frankfurt's Filip Kostic can boast a higher cross-to-goal ratio.
  • Freiburg have scored with 16 headers this season, extending their club record.
  • Streich's men also have 24 set-piece goals this term, a Bundesliga and club best.
  • Ex-Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann remains stuck on 99 Bundesliga wins for the last seven games.

Watch: Roland Sallai: "We have a big target'


Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Kaderabek (Larsen 89'), Akpoguma (Adams 89'), Vogt, Raum - Samassekou (Skov 77'), Stiller - Bebou, Kramaric, Baumgartner (Rudy 65') - Dabbur (Rutter 65')
Unused subs: Philipp, Bruun, Che, Bischof
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (shin), Grillitsch (muscular), Hübner (back), John (shoulder), Nordtveit (hamstring), Posch (suspended), Richards (thigh)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß

Freiburg: Flekken - Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Gulde (Petersen 46') - Kübler (Sildillia 90'+4), Eggestein, Höfler (Demirovic 71') Günter (c) - Sallai (Jeong 71') Höler, Grifo (Schmid 88')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Haberer, K. Schlotterbeck, Wagner
Out: Keitel (broken toe), Schade (abdominals), Weißhaupt (shoulder)
Coach: Christian Streich

Watch: Andrej Kramaric: "It hurts"