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Sports

Freiburg fall to Sevilla, Frankfurt dismantle APOEL Nicosia

Freiburg have lost 2-0 against Sevilla in the Europa League after holding firm against the favorites for more than an hour. Meanwhile Frankfurt won 3-0 in Cyprus.

Without a win in the Bundesliga this season and surprise European qualifiers, Freiburg were considered complete outsiders on their Thursday evening trip to Sevilla. Frankfurt, meanwhile, were touted as likely winners against APOEL Nicosia - and both games played out as the pundits predicted.

Freiburg Coach Christian Streich played a heavily-rotated midfield and attack - probably with an eye on the crucial Bundesliga match against Frankfurt on Sunday. Nevertheless, Freiburg's first-choice defense largely held firm against Sevilla for more than an hour - with several helping hands from goalie Oliver Baumann.

Sevilla's side had a distinct Bundesliga feel, including former Schalke star Ivan Rakitic, former German international Piotr Trochowski, and substitute Marko Marin - an old Werder Bremen flame on the wing.

Fallou 'deja-vu' Diagne

Freiburg defender Fallou Diagne, for the second game in succession, had the misfortune of turning the match against his team.

With the game goalless after 63 minutes, Diagne was given a straight red card for fouling an attacker to prevent a clear scoring chance in the penalty area. Diagne was sent off in precisely the same manner against Borussia Dortmund in a 5-0 Bundesliga defeat for Freiburg at the weekend.

Diego Perotti stepped up and buried Sevilla's spot kick, sending Freiburg goalie Baumann the wrong way.

A goal up and now against 10 men, favorites Sevilla suddenly inherited the control they themselves had failed to seize for over an hour. Colombian Carlos Bacca, who had won the initial penalty, scored his side's second in stoppage time to complete a 2-0 win.

Freiburg trail group leaders Sevilla and second-placed Slovan Liberec in Group H, with one point from two Europa League games.

Frankfurt build on Bordeaux result

Eintracht Frankfurt's evening in the Cypriot capital was rather more pleasant the Freiburg's trip to Spain. Coach Armin Veh's side ultimately toppled their opponents 3-0, despite a sometimes shaky first-half showing.

Eintracht Frankfurt players (L-R) Srdjan Lakic, Marco Russ and Sebastian Jung celebrate their 1-0 lead during the UEFA Europa League Group F soccer match between APOEL Nicosia and Eintracht Frankfurt in Nicosia, Cyprus, 03 October 2013. (Photo via EPA/STRINGER)

Jung (r.) scored one and "set up" the own goal

Tranquilo Barnetta and Sebastian Jung were the architects of the opening goal after 27 minutes, but it was APOEL defender Nektarios Alexandrou who put the ball in the net. Barnetta released Jung wide on the right with an excellent cross-field pass, Jung crossed it in with pace, and Alexandrou's touch put the ball out of his goalie's reach.

Ten minutes after the break, Frankfurt strikers Srdjan Lakic and Vaclav Kadlec dismantled APOEL's defense with a slick one-two, allowing Lakic to provide a cool finish.

With 66 mintues on the clock, stand-in captain Jung scored in unusual circumstances. Having conceded a free kick, APOEL defenders began lobbying the officials to reconsider the call. Spying an opportunity, Johannes Flum quickly played the set piece to Jung, who put the result beyond any doubt in a one-on-one with goalie Urko Pardo.

Frankfurt won their opening group game 3-0 at home against Girondins de Bordeaux, putting the Bundesliga side in an excellent early postion atop Group F.