Bundesliga News

Europe: Europa League
0 - 4
(0 - 1)
K. Schade (81)
L. Kübler (26), M. Gregoritsch (71), J. Woo-Yeong (87)

Freiburg through to Europa League knockouts on maximum points

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

SC Freiburg are through to the 2022/23 Europa League knockouts after maintaining their undefeated record in the competition's group stages after a thumping 4-0 win away at Nantes.
Christian Streich.
Christian Streich.
Four matches and four wins mean that SC Freiburg have already clinched European football for 2023. A 4-0 win over FC Nantes is enough for the Group G leaders to advance. Germany southern BaWü club can skip over the knockout round playoffs and head straight to the round-of-16 with a win or draw against Qarabag FC in two weeks' time.

SC trainer Christian Streich - back on the sidelines after having to sit out two fixtures in COVID quarantine - finally made some changes to the starting XI after six straight fixtures with the same lineup. Four changes to the XI that drew Hertha 2-2 saw Yannick Keitel, Lukas Kübler, Nils Petersen take the place of regulars Maximilian Eggestein, Kiliann Sildillia, and Michael Gregortisch. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (out injured) was also replaced by Woo-Yeong Jeong.

The visiting Breisgauer produced plenty of early pressure, with captain Christian Günter and Philipp Lienhart getting some action going in the box early. The Germans were somewhat vulnerable on the counter, however, and the French side was able to generate some chances of their own. Moussa Sissoko hit the crossbar with a header in the 12th. Pedro Chirivella would hit the post some eight minutes later.

Despite the fact that Nantes had the better chances, Freiburg were able to open the scoring in the 26th. Kübler charged in to finish off a Günter cross that was improperly cleared for the 1-0. Kübler would be active on the defensive side in the 36th, clearing away the French team's most penetrative combo into the box resolutely. Freiburg were able to fashion a few half-chances before the first 45 was up.

Not much happened in the opening 25 minutes after the restart. Nantes pressed forward somewhat timidly and Freiburg remained secure. As the 70th minute approached, the French hosts took a few more risks and were swiftly punished one the counter. Günter rushed up the right in space and located Jeong in the box. The South Korean international headed over for the just-subbed on Gregoritsch for the 2-0.

The third tally would come in the 82nd. Unfortunately for the freshly subbed on Nantes center-halve Jean-Charles Castelleto, a slip gifted Kevin Schade the ball directly in front of goal. the German youth international happily accepted the gift and slotted home the 3-0. Five minutes later, keeper Alban Lafont spilled a Gregortisch ranged effort and Jeong polished off the rebound for the 4-0.

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