Freiburg - SC Freiburg got off the mark at the third time of asking this season, beating 1899 Hoffenheim 5-3 in a thrilling Baden derby on Sunday afternoon.
Sitting at the foot the Bundesliga table at the start of play, Hoffenheim had hoped to get one over on their south-western rivals. But despite opening the scoring within minutes of the kick-off through Matthieu Delpierre, Markus Babbel's team were in for another ultimately disappointing afternoon. Goals from Karim Guede, Max Kruse and Fallou Diagne were cancelled out by Boris Vukcevic and Takashi Usami for the visitors in a see-saw enoucnter, before two strikes in the final seven minutes, courtesy of Cedric Makiadi and Sebastian Freis, wrapped up Freiburg's first three points of the new campaign. Hoffenheim meanwhile are still without a point, and have also already leaked eleven goals to boot.
The fans had barely had a chance to settle into their seats when the visitors broke the deadlock. An early free-kick was whipped into the mix by Sebastian Rudy and when Freiburg failed to deal with the delivery, Delpierre was on hand to tap in from close range inside two minutes. The hosts collected themselves having gone behind and soon began having a greater influence on the game as they carved out their own goalscoring opportunities.
Tim Wiese had to be alert to prevent Makiadi converting Jonathan Schmid's lofted cross, but Christian Streich's charges leveled the scores soon after from another poorly defended set-piece. Kruse provided the delivery and, with Hoffenheim's backline at sixes and sevens, Guede was able to beat Marvin Compper to the ball to poke home past a helpless Wiese.
Flipping the script
1899's passive approach handed Freiburg the impetus and the hosts duly made the most of their upper hand by going in front for the first time just before the half-hour mark. Once again it was ball into the box that caused the Sinsheim side problems as Kruse found space in between the two centre-backs to produce a diving header from Julian Schuster cross. A mazy run from Takashi Usami came close to pulling the visitors level, but it was Freiburg who went into the changing rooms a goal to the good, after Wiese had denied Guede a second goal with a fine instinct save.
Markus Babbel reacted by bringing on Vukcevic during the break, but there was little change after the restart as the space afforded by both sides meant that it continued to be a very open affair. Freiburg maintained control of possession and went close to extending their lead through Kruse, before Schuster rifled an effort into the side netting from a short corner.
Back and forth
However, having demonstrated little threat in the second half, Hoffenheim struck back approaching the hour mark when Vukcevic bundled his way through the Breisgauer's backline to slice a left-footed effort past Oliver Baumann. The Freiburg keeper was tested again minutes later when he was forced to tip Roberto Firmino's deflected effort over the bar, while substitute Joselu headed wide from the resulting corner having been left unmarked at the far post.
The game had sparked back into life with both teams pushing forward, but it was once again the hosts who restored their lead when Wiese flapped at Schuster's corner making it easy for Diagne to head into a virtually empty net. Eight minutes later though and Hoffenheim grabbed their third. The lively Usami was allowed to turn on the edge of the box and produced a fine finish to lash the ball past Baumann.
Final twist in the tale
Level-pegging once again, but the last hurrah was destined to be Freiburg's. In the 84th minute they were in front again, and from another corner as Makiadi was left in acres of space on the edge of the six-yard box to fire past a wandering Wiese. And the hosts were not finished yet, as Freis rounded Wiese to put the final nail in the coffin, securing the men from the deep South West an ultimately emphatic first season win.
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