Michael Gregoritsch scored his first to third goals of the season against Olympiakos
Photo: Matthias Hangst / Getty Images
SC Freiburg have qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League in impressive fashion. In the home game against Olympiakos Piraeus, the Bundesliga club managed a 5-0 (2-0) victory. Michael Gregoritsch put the Breisgau team in front with a hat-trick (3rd/8th/36th minute), Kiliann Sildillia (42nd) added before the break. Ritsu Doan scored in the second half, which Freiburg tackled sparingly (77').
A draw would have been enough for Freiburg to advance to the intermediate round. Winning the group – and thus the question of whether SCF will even advance directly to the round of 14 – will be decided on 21 December (<> p.m.) in London against West Ham United, where a draw is enough for Freiburg to defend first place.
In rain and temperatures just above freezing, Freiburg showed a willingness to play right from the kick-off. Gregoritsch in particular, who has not scored a goal at club level so far this season, was almost unstoppable by the Greeks: First he processed a deflected cross from Maximilian Eggestein with a low shot to make it 1-0 (3rd), a little later Gregoritsch headed his second goal after a corner kick (8th).
A shot from about eight meters slipped off the Austrian's side (20'), but Olympiakos' enormous gaps in defence and midfield made it easy for Freiburg to play through the defensive lines again and again and put their own attack in the limelight. Debutant Jordy Makengo delivered a successful cross from the left wing into the centre, which Gregoritsch headed into the goal for a flawless hat-trick (36'). Gregoritsch provided the assist for Sildillia's goal to make it 4-0 (42nd), and the game was decided at half-time.
Doan puts the finishing touches on the
The second half could not match the pace of the first 45 minutes. There was still not much from Olympiakos, the injury to attacker Daniel Podence did the rest (50th). In the closing stages, Doan scored after a pass from substitute Junior Adamu intended for Vincenzo Grifo was deflected at the feet of the Japanese (77'). A chance from Giorgos Masouras was saved by SCF keeper Noah Atubolu (83'), and Freiburg kept a clean sheet to seal the victory.