FSV Mainz 05 climbed into a non-relegation zone in the Bundesliga thanks to a draw at SC Freiburg. In the 1:1 (1:1) in Breisgau, the Rheinhessen showed their morale and fought for at least one point after an early deficit through Michael Gregoritsch (6th). Jonathan Burkardt secured this with his goal in the 40th minute in front of 34,300 spectators.

Coach Bo Henriksen’s team still has to wait for its first away win since April 1, 2023. With 27 points, the Mainz team overtook VfL Bochum, who had the same number of points, and took 15th place in the table due to the better goal difference, which would ultimately be enough to stay in the league.

The sports club continues to dream of participating in the European Cup for the third time in a row. Seventh place, which Freiburg are in after 30 match days, would entitle them to take part in the playoffs of the Conference League – assuming the new German champions Bayer Leverkusen also win the DFB Cup final against 1. FC Kaiserslautern at the end of May.

Freiburg’s hopes were fueled by Gregoritsch, who scored with a header from a cross from Ritsu Doan. But the end of the doldrums at home is still a long time coming. Freiburg have not won at home in six league games. Visiting coach Henriksen was also aiming for the end of a negative series. “We haven’t won away from home for a long time. But at some point every series breaks,” the Dane had said beforehand.

But this project was already in danger in the early stages. The first successful attack, which Gregoritsch exploited, and a counterattack thwarted by Robin Zentner after half an hour were the only dangerous offensive actions by Freiburg before the break, who wore a special jersey to mark their 120th anniversary.

Meanwhile, the far more emotional duel took place on the sidelines. Christian Streich and Henriksen repeatedly had loud discussions. Freiburg’s coach clearly audibly accused his counterpart of provoking him several times. Assistant referee Florian Badstübner had to intervene several times to mediate the situation.

Streich had demanded that his players have to show a “100% presence”. However, his protégés mostly just ran after them and came under increasing pressure against guests who were aggressive. The equalizer seemed only a matter of time. And shortly before the break the time had come: Burkardt scored the deserved 1-1.

Ten minutes after the restart, Streich reacted and brought in creative player Merlin Röhl, among others. The 21-year-old provided relief. However, Gregoritsch aimed too imprecisely after a Röhl pass (58′). The home team now repeatedly earned free kicks from the half field. But they didn’t produce a second goal either. The closest thing came after a header from Lukas Kübler (63′).

Unlike in the first half, Mainz were no longer able to put the home team in trouble. When things got dangerous, Freiburg always got a leg up.