SC Freiburg threw away a 2-0 lead to draw their opening Group H match against Czech outfit FC Slovan Liberec.
The German side started brightly and got their reward when captain Julian Schuster converted a 23rd-minute penalty, with Admir Mehmedi doubling their lead via a ferocious long-range shot 12 minutes later. Liberec came out revitalised in the second half, however, and goals from Vladyslav Kalitvintsev and Michael Rabušic pulled them level, before both sides had a man dismissed.
Despite a poor start to the Bundesliga season, Freiburg started the match full of confidence against a Liberec team that had never beaten a German club in Europe. The hosts took the lead when Ondřej Kušnír fouled Christian Günter inside the penalty area, allowing Schuster to step up and convert the spot kick. Mehmedi promptly doubled their advantage with a thunderous drive which was too much for Přemysl Kovář to handle.
The Czech side looked a completely different team in the second half, though, as substitute Kalitvintsev reduced the deficit when his shot from distance spilled out of goalkeeper Oliver Baumann’s hands and into the net. Seven minutes later, Mehmedi gifted the ball to Rabušic, who finished well to equalise.
Freiburg substitute Karim Guédé was sent off with 11 minutes to go, but the visitors' advantage was short-lived as Serhiy Rybalka then saw red in stoppage time. Freiburg's next outing is a trip to Sevilla FC on 3 October, when Liberec will host Estoril Praia.
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