It ended up being a crazy game where a goalkeeper became the attacker and a goalscorer became the defender of his team.

Strong nerves were required when the final phase of the Bundesliga south-west duel between second-placed SC Freiburg and eleventh-placed Mainz 05 began and everything that had gone before was called into question.

The fact that the South Baden team didn't have to give up their narrow lead in the 2-1 victory they celebrated with relief over their rivals from Rheinhessen, who were feared in Freiburg because of their many past victories, also had to do with the luck of the brave.

But also with the quality that has now been acquired of not letting a victory be snatched away with collective dedication.

It is also because of such skills that Freiburg, who two years ago were in the same midfield segment as Mainz, have already collected 17 points after just eight games.

That's the record of a top team - and that's how they currently appear with their first-class mixture of combative relentlessness and playful development.

The team coached by Christian Streich has not lost in nine competitive games, also because they have mastered the art of winning games by one goal – the game against Mainz was the sixth proof of that in the young season.

Freiburg was the much better team before the break.

First up is the massive center forward Michael Gregoritsch, who moved from FC Augsburg to Freiburg for the new season.

The 1.93-metre-long player from Styria set the first beacon of an eventful Saturday afternoon when he slammed the ball into the goal in the third minute from sixteen meters – his fourth league goal in his first season for the sports club.

Gregoritsch, who feels "extremely comfortable" in Freiburg, was also involved in the 2-0 win through Daniel-Kofi Kyereh, who came from FC St. Pauli in the summer (37th), when he shot the ball against the crossbar after Vincenzo Grifo's cross, from where it landed on Kyereh's head.

He was delighted with his first goal for his new club, which he described as the “easiest” of his career due to the short distance to the goal.

For a somersault lacked the strength

The attacking midfielder, who grew up in Germany and is expected to be on the ball for Ghana at the World Cup in Qatar, was then unable to keep a second promise.

As so often after his goals for St. Pauli, he would have liked to have become an airman, but he didn't have the strength to take off.

"When I scored the goal, I was in the absolute red zone and too exhausted to do a somersault," he said after the game, which was also very intense for him.

Freiburg's effort had paid off against Mainz, who only subtly hinted at their stormy virtues in the first round.

They signed up correctly in this duel when the left rail player Aaron made it 1:2 from close goal distance after an assist from Jonathan Burkardt, who had recovered from a foot injury.

And how, because things got dramatic in the final minutes.

First, Mainz center forward Karim Onisiwo was very close to making it 2-2 with a shot against the post, when goalkeeper Robin Zentner ("why not, when you're 1-2 behind?"), who had rushed forward, headed the ball after Aaron's corner kick and Anthony Caci had alluded to the freestanding Austrian (90 + 2).

Petersen as the first servant of his team

Seconds later, Urs Widmer's shot seemed to be 2-2, but then suddenly Nils Petersen, who had previously been celebrated as Freiburg's record goalscorer, suddenly stood alone on the goal line like a trained central defender and hit the ball out of the danger zone with the outside of his right foot.

It was the last act of rescue of the game, accomplished by the late substitute from Freiburg "Football God" from Wernigerode, who secured the victory as the first servant of his team.

"I'm not in my own penalty area that often," he says later about the decisive second, "in that scene I had a bit of the striker gene and knew where he was shooting."

Petersen did not hide how much he would have liked to have come a little earlier than in the 84th minute.

"The so-called A team," he said on the way to a pleasant weekend, "has been doing well for weeks", then the so-called B team - to which Petersen is currently the first servant of his team - sometimes lacks the arguments.

“And when you come onto the pitch, you have to deliver.

That's our job.” He did it brilliantly at the crucial moment in the unloved role of the dutiful short-time worker – this time in the new role of defending another Freiburg victory.