The Wolves remain unbeaten following their fifth competitive match in 15 days of the new season. Nils Petersen gave Freiburg the lead early on, but Josip Brekalo made it 1-1 shortly before the break and that’s how it stayed, thanks in part to a number of fine saves from the Wolves’ stand-in goalkeeper Pavao Pervan in the second half.
The games continue to come thick and fast for Oliver Glasner’s men, with their UEFA Europa League play-off against AEK Athens coming up this Thursday (kick-off 20:45 CEST).
Sweeping changes from Thursday
Glasner made no fewer than seven changes to his side after the midweek Europa League qualifying win at Desna Chernihiv, and he was forced into another one shortly before kick-off when Koen Casteels picked up a knee injury in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Pervan. It meant only Maximilian Arnold, Joao Victor and captain Josuha Guilavogui – making his 150th Bundesliga appearance – retained their places, while returnee Yunus Malli made his first start for the Wolves since February 2019.
Brekalo with timely equaliser
The visitors made a bright start at the Schwarzwald-Stadion – where 3,200 spectators were in attendance – with Victor and Daniel Ginczek having early sights of goal. However, it was Freiburg who took the lead in the 11th minute, when Petersen headed in Vincenzo Grifo’s corner at the near post.
The hosts had more of the play after that, but the Wolves survived a spell of pressure and managed to draw themselves level shortly before half-time. Brekalo’s ferocious free-kick from the edge of the area was deflected by the wall onto the underside of the crossbar and over the line to make it 1-1.
It remained a tight contest after the break. The Green-and-Whites created the first opportunity when Yannick Gerhardt’s low curling shot was pushed away by Florian Müller, while Lucas Höler had a goal chalked off for offside at the other end. Pervan was called into action again in the 64th minute, tipping Baptiste Santamaria’s thumping long-range drive onto the post.
Both sides went in search of a winner in the final 15 minutes, Dominique Heintz stinging Pervan’s gloves and substitute Jerome Roussillon overhitting a pass to the unmarked Wout Weghorst in the penalty area. Weghorst then presented Höler with a glorious chance to win it in stoppage time with a loose back-pass, but fortunately he hesitated, Pervan stood firm and the Wolves clung on for the point.
SC Freiburg: Müller - Schmid, Lienhart, Heintz (Gulde 90+5’), Günter - Sallai (Jeong 78’), Santamaria, Höfler, Grifo (Kwon 78’) - Höler - Petersen (Demirovic 88’)
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan - Klaus, Guilavogui, Brooks, Otavio (Roussillon 77’) - Gerhardt, Arnold (Schlager 58’) - Brekalo, Malli (Mehmedi 58’), Joao Victor (Steffen 49’) - Ginczek (Weghorst 77’)
Goals: Petersen 1-0 (11’), Brekalo 1-1 (42’)
Yellow cards: - / Otavio, Arnold, Brooks
Referee: Sören Storks (Velen)