Darmstadt's battle against relegation goes on for yet another week after they beat Freiburg 3-0 for a third straight win to keep their slim survival hopes alive.
Darmstadt have twice delayed what seemed inevitable just a fortnight ago, but is starting to look increasingly uncertain now – relegation. Torsten Frings' side continue to cling onto hope and their newfound belief was oozing through as they took the lead through Felix Platte's near-post header from Marcel Heller's cross. Another head, this one from Jerome Gondorf, saw them double their lead on the stroke of half-time with their guests not even having a look-in.
Darmstadt almost got a third when Nicolas Höfler nearly put through his own goal, and Gondorf went even closer as he scooped over at the far post, with the hosts' pressure relentless. Gondorf missed again before substitute Sven Schipplock fired inside Schwolow's near post to send the home fans wild, with survival still a possibility for the never-say-die Lilies.
Man of the Match
Gondorf's goal on the stroke of half-time – his first of the season with his head – was the knockout blow to Freiburg, and the Darmstadt midfielder was a hive of activity from start to finish. He will be forgiven for missing two gilt-edged chances in the second half – perhaps he is saving himself for later.
With the sides still within Darmstadt's reach all facing each other in the season's run-in, Darmstadt can only actually catch one of them – and they cannot therefore climb any higher than 16th – but they have shown once again that while the maths do not condemn them, they are going to carry on fighting.
- Platte's goal was only the third headed goal for Darmstadt this season. Compare that with last season, when they scored 14 headed goals – more than any other Bundesliga side.
- Darmstadt scored two goals for the fifth game in a row.
- Schipplock scored for the first time in 41 games, a total of over 2000 minutes and two years since his last goal.
- Darmstadt won by three goals in the Bundesliga for the first time since 1979, when they beat Bremen 3-0.
Darmstadt: Esser – Sirigu (63' Steinhofer), Banggaard, Sulu (c), Holland - Kamavuaka, Hamit Altintop - Heller, Gondorf (80' Rosenthal), Vrancic – Platte (55' Schipplock)
Coach: Torsten Frings
Freiburg: Schwolow - Ignjovski, Söyüncü (46' Gulde), Kempf, Günter - Höfler - Frantz (c) – Bulut (53' Philipp), Haberer (62' Stenzel) - Petersen, Niederlechner
Coach: Christian Streich