A much-discussed handball becomes SC Freiburg’s undoing. The Breisgauers also lose the round of 16 second leg against Juventus Turin – and are eliminated in the Europa League.
After the end of SC Freiburg in the Europa League was sealed, the fans of the Breisgau stood up and celebrated the defeated Bundesliga team.
The players stayed on the pitch for minutes and the supporters sang for the same amount of time, showing their pride even though the tour of Europe ended in the round of 16 on Thursday night. A controversial handball had previously taken Freiburg’s chance of progressing 0: 2 (0: 1) against Juventus Turin.
The Italian record champions Turin benefited from a much-discussed penalty just before half-time. This was converted by Dusan Vlahovic (45th minute) after Freiburg’s Manuel Gulde unluckily got the ball on his forearm. To make matters worse, Gulde saw the yellow-red card and had to leave the field. Turin’s Federico Chiesa (90+5) scored late to make it 2-0 in the end.
“We were unlucky at the decisive moment. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and we’re eliminated, but the way we did it was fine,” said Freiburg’s Michael Gregoritsch proudly on RTL: “It was an absolutely top game from us. What was missing is the goal.”
Promising initial phase
Freiburg, who were outnumbered for a long time and still tried everything, had big plans for the most important game in their club’s history after the 1-0 loss in the first leg. Freiburg could have sold more than double the number of tickets, but even so, the majority of the 33,420 spectators in the Europa-Park stadium ensured an atmospheric football festival.
And the Freiburg players played their part in making the arena even louder after kick-off. They were aggressive from the first minute and, unlike in the first leg, presented themselves much more courageously. The first degree also belonged to the home side. Ritsu Doan didn’t put any pressure behind the ball from a distance (5′).
SC coach Christian Streich surprised with his starting XI because he put the Italian national player Vincenzo Grifo on the bench. “There’s nothing behind it. I decided to do it with a very, very heavy heart. I’m so sorry for Vincenzo, but I had to make a decision,” said the coach on RTL +. In the first few minutes he could feel confirmed. Only thanks to Wojciech Szczesny, who brilliantly parried a header from Matthias Ginter, did Turin keep their lead (21st).
Little effort is enough for the winning goal
Guest trainer Massimiliano Allegri announced at the press conference that he did not want to rest on the cushion. “We want to score here because just trying to defend a goalless draw is really not a good idea,” he had said.
However, his team hardly invested anything in the offensive for long stretches – until the 27th minute. After a free kick by former Frankfurt player Filip Kostic, Vlahovic shot the ball over the line. However, the video referee intervened because of an offside position, the goal was not recognized.
It was the start of a better phase for Turin, who rewarded themselves just before the break. Gulde, who was allowed to play for Philipp Lienhart, who was still injured, unhappily jumped the ball onto his forearm. He saw his second yellow card for the offense. It was Flekken’s turn to take a weak penalty, but Vlahovic was lucky.
After being sent off, Streich strengthened his defense. However, his players continued to emit danger. After an opaque situation, referee Serdar Gözübüyük again ruled against SC and thus aroused the displeasure of the home fans. The experienced players from Turin were not unsettled by the heated atmosphere and did not do more than was necessary after the change of sides until Chiesa finally scored. At the Sport-Club, Grifo, who came on after a good hour, was no longer able to initiate the turnaround.
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