Champions held by SC Freiburg

Reuters, BERLIN

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - Page 18

A below-strength Bayern Munich side conceded a late equalizer to draw 1-1 at SC Freiburg on Tuesday and move one point clear at the top as their perfect start to the Bundesliga season ended.

SC Freiburg substitute Nicolas Hoefler pounced at the far post to level the score in the 86th minute after Xherdan Shaqiri had fired the visitors ahead with a 33rd-minute volley.

There was more bad news for Bayern as Bastian Schweinsteiger limped off 12 minutes from time with an ankle injury ahead of tomorrow’s UEFA Super Cup match against Chelsea in Prague.

The treble winners have 10 points from four games. Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FSV Mainz 05, who all have nine points, are in action at the weekend. Freiburg have two points.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola made seven changes to the team that beat Nuremberg 2-0 on Saturday for a match moved forward because of the showdown with Europa League winners Chelsea.

“I think we played very well today, we played forward and had a lot of chances, but when you lead 1-0 then this can always happen,” Guardiola told reporters.

The Bavarians controlled possession, but were clearly lacking any spark with Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribery on the bench.

The visitors had to wait 33 minutes to take the lead when Shaqiri did well to control a cross from Thomas Mueller at the far post and drill home a powerful volley from a tight angle.

They did carve out several chances in the second half, but Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was in superb form, denying Toni Kroos and Mueller from point-blank range.

“It’s our fault,” said Lahm, who was brought on in the second half. “We had enough chances to make it 2-0 and finish the game. It is absolutely no excuse that some players did not start today.”

Freiburg came close to an equalizer on the hour mark when Charles-Elie Laprevotte curled a shot on to the post. The hosts were finally rewarded four minutes from time when Hoefler snatched an unexpected leveler.

The result extended Bayern’s unbeaten run to 29 games as they chase Hamburg SV’s record of 36 without defeat in 1982-1983. They also set a Bundesliga record of scoring for a 41st consecutive game.