Thanks to Vincenzo Grifo’s turbo hat-trick within 16 minutes, SC Freiburg went into the World Cup break as Bayern’s number one hunter. The Italian international led the Breisgau team to a 4-1 (4-0) win over ten Union Berlin men in the last Bundesliga game before the finals. The SC climbed to second place thanks to the trio in the chasing duel, Freiburg is four points behind the record champions from Munich.
Grifo scored in the fourth minute with a hand penalty and in the 20th minute with a penalty kick. In between, the 29-year-old was successful from the game (6th). Grifo is the second Freiburg player after Nils Petersen (2015) to score a hat-trick. Michael Gregoritsch (45+1) also scored for the SC. In Berlin, on the other hand, pretty much everything went wrong. Robin Knoche shot a penalty kick against the post (9′), Diogo Leite saw the red card early (19′). Sven Michel (85th) shortened late with a penalty kick.
Freiburg have never had 30 points after 15 match days. While the sports club has been unbeaten at home for ten competitive games, the Berliners suffered their third away defeat in a row. Union winters in fifth place.
“Everything is going wonderfully. We are very satisfied,” said SC coach Christian Streich, summing up the season so far before the duel between the two currently longest-serving Bundesliga coaches at DAZN. His opponent Urs Fischer had a “good impression” of his team before kick-off.
In front of 33,800 spectators, things got really lively in the first few minutes. After a cross from the Freiburg World Championship driver Christian Günter, the Japanese Ritsu Doan had the lead upside down after about half a minute.
Since Berlin’s Christopher Trimmel was slightly on the ball with his hand when Günter crossed, referee Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach) awarded a penalty after studying the video. Grifo converted safely from the point. After that it went wild. After a bad pass from Paul Seguin, Freiburg countered the guests via Gregoritsch and Grifo. It was Grifo’s eighth goal of the season.
Union Berlin: Knoche awards penalties
Shortly thereafter, the scene changed to the opposite side. Union attacker Sheraldo Becker was fouled by Nicolas Höfler on the edge of the penalty area. Knoche hit the post with the penalty kick that was due.
Afterwards there was only a little time to catch one’s breath. The guests, who were missing the suspended Rani Khedira and the injured first-choice goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow, suffered the next severe setbacks. Leite saw the red card after an emergency brake against Doan, Grifo scored again from the point.
Outnumbered, the Berliners were unable to get into the break without conceding another goal. Gregoritsch scored his sixth goal of the season after Doan’s preliminary work.
In the second round, Freiburg took it easy and managed the clear lead. It only got loud again in the 76th minute when Grifo was substituted.