Berlin, March 1 (IANS) Freiburg scored twice after the break to snatch all three points on the road against wasteful Bayer Leverkusen in the closer of the 23rd round matches in Bundesliga.
Freiburg’s Ermedin Demirovic and Lucas Holer scored against the run of the play and stunned Leverkusen, who suffered their sixth loss from the last nine matches on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The hosts took control from the kick-off and dominated the opening stages to make amends for Thursday’s surprising Europa League exit to Young Boys Bern in the round of the last 32.
Leverkusen produced their first clear-cut chance with 11 minutes played when Freiburg goalkeeper Florian Muller had to defuse Leon Bailey’s dangerous attempt.
Muller was called into action again with the subsequent corner after Lucas Alario’s header from close range almost found its target.
Freiburg weren’t able to take the heat off its goal as Demarai Gray tested Muller with a long-range effort in the 22nd minute.
The visitors eventually showed signs of life in the dying seconds of the first half as Leverkusen goalkeeper Lennart Grill had to neutralize Demirovic’s header following a corner.
After the restart, Freiburg caught a fairytale start with the opener in the 50th minute. Holer danced untouched through Leverkusen’s defence and teed up for Demirovic, who made no mistake from 11 meters.
Leverkusen pressed for the equalizer, but it was once again clinical Freiburg who doubled their lead 11 minutes later when Vincenzo Grifo’s square pass allowed Holer to poke home into the open goal.
The Werkself turned up and were able to halve the deficit in the 71st minute after Bailey shrugged off defender Lukas Kubler before drilling the ball past hapless Muller.
Leverkusen threw every man up front, but Freiburg’s defence stood firm and protected the narrow lead to the final whistle.
With the result, Freiburg climb to eighth while Leverkusen slump to the sixth position of the Bundesliga standings. Elsewhere, Andre Hahn benefitted from a moment of madness from Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner to secure Augsburg a 1-0 victory while Union Berlin and Hoffenheim played out a 1-1 stalemate.