Bundesliga strugglers Freiburg, Hertha split nervy points in draw

Freiburg's Christian Guenter challenges Hertha Berlin's Peter Pekarik during the Bundesliga contest on Friday night.

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SC Freiburg and Hertha BSC spent a nervy Friday night doing just enough to collect a 2-2 Bundesliga draw but hardly relieving the early-season pressure they are under.

A stoppage-time free kick from Ronny, his second dead-ball strike on the night, got Hertha something for their evening’s work after a Felix Klaus goal had appeared to nail down three points for Freiburg.

Because both teams had entered the contest without a win and only one point after the first three rounds, it was a result that ultimately will not have satisfied either manager. Freiburg is 14th and Hertha, 15th in the league table, are both just a single point above the bottom three with the weekend slate of games still to come.

After a relatively uneventful first half hour, two goals in the space of six minutes saw the teams 1-1 at the interval. Marc-Oliver Kempf put Freiburg on top with a sharp header to a Jonathan Schmid corner in the 30th minute, but Hertha’s Brazilian free-kick specialist leveled matters in the 36th.

Kempf got inside Julian Schieber eight yards out to meet Schmid’s corner and give Freiburg the lead but an Oliver Sorg foul on Genki Haraguchi set up Ronny to curl his 28-yard free kick to the top right corner six minutes later.

Maximilian Philipp had two chances to put Freiburg on top midway through the second half, but in both cases excellent defense foiled him. First, Fabian Lustenberger kept pace and blocked an attempted pass on a 2-on-1 breakaway in the 65th minute, then keeper Thomas Kraft’s flying, one-handed save touched over a 19-yard screamer that Phillipp first timed from the top right.

HEAR US OUT

When the go-ahead goal did come in the 79th minute it was the result of a fine knock-down by Karim Guédé to an inswinging cross from the right by Vladimir Darida. Klaus, who was the recipient, took one touch to control, the snapped his shot into the near right corner from about 15 yards away.

A fine save from Roman Bürki in stoppage time to keep a Ronny drive out had seemed to see Freiburg safely home. From his second free kick chance seven minutes into stoppage time, the Hertha star got his team a share of the points, perhaps against the run of play overall.