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Freiburg win to leave Group H wide open

FC Slovan Liberec 1-2 SC Freiburg
Matthias Ginter and Francis Coquelin scored as the German side claimed an edgy victory that takes them above their Czech hosts.

Francis Coquelin (right) beams with delight after scoring the Freiburg winner
Francis Coquelin (right) beams with delight after scoring the Freiburg winner ©AFP/Getty Images

Goals from Matthias Ginter and Francis Coquelin earned SC Freiburg a victory that leaves Group H wide open going into matchday six.

Ginter and Coquelin struck in either half to reward an enterprising performance, though the visitors were hanging on at the end when FC Slovan Liberec's Serhiy Rybalka halved the deficit. The result means second-placed Freiburg are masters of their own destiny in two weeks' time, needing only to match whatever Liberec, in third, manage. The German side host qualified Sevilla FC while Liberec go to eliminated Estoril Praia.

After a tense start, Ginter scored from the first opening of the game on 23 minutes. Goalkeeper Přemysl Kovář misjudged a Sebastian Kerk corner and Ginter, with his back to the goal, managed to curl the ball into the top corner beyond the craning necks of two defenders. It sparked the Czech team into action but it was after the restart that the contest really opened up.

Michael Rabušic hit the woodwork with nobody quick enough to convert the rebound. Five minutes later, both Rabušic and Josef Šural narrowly failed to connect with a low centre from the right. Freiburg went quiet, a Mike Hanke half-chance the only thing of note, and an equaliser seemed a matter of time. Then, however, the Bundesliga outfit struck again.

Christian Günter brushed past three opponents on the left and his cross was met by Coquelin's head to double Freiburg's advantage. Rybalka made it 2-1 eight minutes later, turning in Jiří Pimpara's header across goal to set up a grand finale, but the away side just about hung on. The job is not done yet, though.