Freiburg and Hannover play out thrilling end-of-year draw

Freiburg - Hannover 96 came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with hosts SC Freiburg in a thrilling encounter in the Bundesliga's final game of 2014.

Hannover open the stronger

Freiburg opened the scoring against the run of play through Mike Frantz and doubled their lead with a Marc-Oliver Kempf header ten minutes from time, but substitute Leonardo Bittencourt pulled one back in the 83rd minute, before Joselu capitalised on an error from Roman Bürki to score a dramatic equaliser in injury time.

Despite the return of attacking trio Frantz, Vladimir Darida and Jonathan Schmid enabling Christian Streich to choose a full-strength side, Freiburg were pinned back early by the visitors. Within six minutes, Hannover had sliced open their hosts, although Lars Stindl’s shot wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Bürki. With Jimmy Briand’s power troubling Freiburg, Hannover enjoyed the next chance, but Bürki repelled Joselu’s shot.

Darida fired an isolated shot over just after the quarter-hour mark, while Joselu maintained Hannover's pressure when he lifted Miiko Albornoz’s low cross over the bar. Freiburg’s aimless punts up field were only being returned to them in the form of Hannover attacks, and Briand came even closer to the opener when he headed against the post in the 24th minute.

Freiburg turn the tables

Tayfun Korkut’s men had a spring in their step after their midweek win and ten minutes after Briand’s effort, they were again denied by the woodwork, when Joselu’s shot beat the keeper but not the post. Streich’s hosts were riding their luck but they began to create chances, and after Schmid’s long-range free kick drew a good save from Ron-Robert Zieler, Frantz applied a smart finish to Christian Günter’s cut-back to give them the lead on the stroke of half time.

Freiburg emerged with their tails up, the goal visibly increasing their confidence, and should have doubled their lead a minute after the restart when Felix Klaus rattled the post and Darida’s follow-up was saved well by a scrambling Zieler. After ten minutes of solid pressure brought little in the way of chances, Klaus slalomed his way easily through the Hannover defence, only for Marcelo’s last-ditch challenge to deny him a certain goal.

Three goals in ten minutes

Knowing that a win would lift them out off the bottom of the table, Freiburg increased their control. Zieler had to be alert to tip an Admir Mehmedi piledriver onto the crossbar, but was powerless to stop Kempf heading home unmarked from a corner to double Freiburg's lead deservedly with ten minutes remaining.

The drama, however, had only just started. Stindl's low cross teed Bittencourt up to reduce the arrears in the 83rd minute, and after Briand spurned a presentable opportunity, Joselu made no mistake when Bürki's mishit clearance went straight to him on the edge of the box. His calm finish rescued his side a point and ensured Freiburg stay bottom going into 2015.

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