BERLIN: Luca Waldschmidt came off the bench to score an 81st-minute equaliser and rescue a point for Freiburg in a thrilling 3-3 Bundesliga draw with local rivals Stuttgart on Sunday.
With no goals and no points from their opening two games, Stuttgart were under growing pressure ahead of the derby clash.
Their nightmare start looked set to continue when Jérôme Gondorf headed Freiburg in front within a minute of kick-off.
With the home side in control, Nils Petersen missed a chance to double the lead on 36 minutes, and paid the price less than ten minutes later.
Having failed to muster a single shot on goal in the first 44 minutes, Stuttgart suddenly found the net just before halftime, Emiliano Insúa smashing an 18-metre screamer past Alexander Schwolow.
Mario Gómez prodded Stuttgart in front three minutes after the break, but Freiburg hit back almost immediately, Gondorf curling a free kick into the bottom corner to pick up his second goal.
Not to be outdone, Gómez promptly scored a second himself, nodding Insúa’s cross into the far corner to restore Stuttgart’s lead.
“I would happily trade both my goals for three points,” Gómez told Sky. “We showed heart today and showed again that we are a good team.”
Waldschmidt hit the bar with 19 minutes to play, before smashing in his equaliser ten minutes later. Pascal Stenzel was given a second yellow card shortly afterwards, but Freiburg held on with ten men to secure a point.
Earlier in the day, Virgil Misidjan celebrated a perfect debut for Nürnberg, as he scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw away to Werder Bremen.
Bremen have not lost in four competitive games this season, while Florian Kohfeldt remains unbeaten in 15 home games as head coach, in what is a new club record. Yet Misidjan’s late strike left a bitter taste on what had been another successful afternoon.
“We wanted to take our chances better in the second half, but we ended up completely losing control,” Bremen midfielder Maximilian Eggestein told Sky. “We sat too deep, and we ran out of energy at the end of the game.”
Eggestein gave Bremen the lead in style on 26 minutes, rifling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Back on the field, Eggestein could have added a second on 55 minutes, but skewed his shot wide after finding space on the right flank.
Nürnberg found the net against the run of play just before the hour mark, but Ondřej Petrák’s toe-poked equaliser was disallowed for offside.
Mikael Ishak, who had sent in the cross for Petrak, was in an offside position when the ball ricocheted off the back of a team-mate and into his path.
All looked lost for Nürnberg as the clock ticked down in added time, before Misidjan found space on the left and bundled the ball past Jiří Pavlenka at the near post.