Vincenzo Grifo shoots SC Freiburg back into the top ranks. The Italian stays cold twice in the 2-1 (0-1) derby against VfB Stuttgart.
Vincenzo Grifo grabbed the megaphone with a big grin on his face, then the SC Freiburg match winner started the “Humba” and let the fans celebrate with his teammates. The Breisgauer are back in the top ranks after the hard-fought 2-1 (0-1) against VfB Stuttgart, Grifo almost single-handedly turned the heated Baden-Württemberg derby with two converted penalty kicks.
“He’s extremely important on the pitch, maybe even more important in the dressing room. He’s really good for us at all levels,” Freiburg’s sporting director Jochen Saier enthused about Grifo. The Italian national player kept his nerve with both penalties (60th/84th), which were only given after a long view of the video images.
“These are wonderful victories when they are so hard-fought. But there was also luck,” added Saier. For a long time, the sports club had big problems with the Swabians, who initially took the lead through Chris Führich and his dream goal (30th). Then the hosts benefited from the video assistant: Twice referee Sascha Stegemann only decided on penalty kicks after checking the television pictures.
“It was foul play when you see the slow motion. If you look at it, you have to admit it,” said Saier. It shouldn’t matter to the Freiburgers, who had to do without their red-banned coach Christian Streich: SC temporarily returned to fourth place. RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt can pass again on Sunday.
Führich puts VfB in the lead with a dream goal
In addition to Streich, who was represented on the sidelines by assistant coach Lars Voßler, Freiburg also had to do without defender Kiliann Sildillia (yellow-red suspension) and the long-term injured Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (torn cruciate ligament). Labbadia, who had won his first competitive game as VfB coach since his return last week in the DFB Cup, had to replace his first-choice goalkeeper Florian Müller (gastrointestinal) at short notice, with Fabian Bredlow replacing the ex-Freiburger.
Freiburg were wide awake from the first second. Stuttgart, on the other hand, only got into the game better over time, but were unable to create any clear offensive actions against a defensively good Freiburg team – and still took the lead with the first shot on goal.
The completely unchallenged Führich plucked up courage and shot from 25 meters. The ball hit the left corner and was untenable (30′). Only four minutes later, Führich missed his second goal again with a flick.
After the change of sides, Freiburg pushed for an equalizer. In the 60th minute of the game, Freiburg managed the well-deserved 1-1. Grifo safely converted in the bottom left. As a result, an open exchange of blows developed – with the better end for the home side. Grifo remained ice cold from the point again.
In the third minute of added time, Borna Sosa just missed the equalizer. The Croatian’s free kick hit the crossbar.
SC Freiburg vs. VfB Stuttgart: The data for the game
Lars Vossler (assistant coach SC Freiburg): “We won the game because we scored both penalties. We started the game well and had a good chance through Salli, but then it wasn’t enough. Stuttgart deservedly took the lead. We wanted problems after half-time corrected and were then better in the game, but could not create many chances. But the 911 helped. We were the happier team now.”
Bruno Labbadia (coach VfB Stuttgart): “It’s very bitter for us. I think we didn’t allow much in the entire game. We defended well against a strong team and also scored a nice goal. The only drawback: we didn’t close the sack, we weren’t clear enough in the last pass and not consistently in the finish.”