Defining moment of the season – SC Freiburg

After six straight years of Bundesliga football, the Breisgau Brazilians have gotten relegated for the fourth time in their club’s history. After the longest Bundesliga run in the club’s history, the officials around Christian Streich are now facing the task of shipping off 9 to 11 players whilst trying to sign new exciting players and bring forward a few more gems through the ranks of their youth academy.

88 minutes into a match…

Freiburg’s main issue this season has been the fact that the team has dropped far too many points from leading positions. The Breisgau Brazilians managed only to win 7 of the 16 matches where the team was in a leading position. One of the most incredible stats the 2014/15 season produced was the fact that Freiburg dropped points from a winning position 6 times after the 88th minute. No other team in the Bundesliga had such trouble defending for the last few moments of a match.

The moment –Kačar’s high five for Bürki

If the referees of the Bundesliga would have blown their whistles two minutes before time, SC would have narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Europa League next season. The most traumatic late goal of the season came on match day 32. Streich’s men had managed to keep HSV out of their box for most of the match, but once again the Freiburg had failed to score their second goal of the match despite a decent amount of chances.

HSV managed to produce their best chance of the second half in the 90th minute, when Rafael van der Vaart’s corner kick found the head of Ivica Olić, who was kept out by Roman Bürki. However, Gojko Kačar followed up the ball and headed it over the line from a short distance, whilst simultaneously high-fiving Freiburg keeper Roman Bürki’s right hand. Referee Knut Kircher didn’t have his best day at the office, and what should have been a clear-cut foul on the goalkeeper was given as a goal for HSV.

After the wrongly awarded goal, Kircher also failed to spot a clear-cut foul from Slobodan Rajković on Pavel Krmaš in the HSV penalty area (to be fair though, HSV should have been awarded a penalty as well in the first half). What could have been the three points that catapulted Freiburg out of the relegation dog fight ended as a disappointing draw. Freiburg could have certainly avoided relegation if the team had defended better in any of the matches where they gave up a lead that late on into the match, however, one can’t help but feel that HSV are extremely fortunate that they were the ones who were awarded the lifeline of the relegation play-off. And even there they could rely on help from the referee…

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.