FCA fell to a 2-0 defeat to Hertha BSC to finish a busy week of Bundesliga football. After a torrid first half, Augsburg picked themselves up and began to dominate the football. But for all their possession, the Fuggerstädter couldn’t break through a resolute Hertha defence.
Three days after the goalless draw with SC Paderborn, head coach Heiko Herrlich brought in fresh legs for the duel with Hertha, marking six changes to the starting XI. Stephan Lichsteiner, Marek Suchý, Carlos Gruezo, Sarenren Bazee (first start for the club) and Sergio Córdova all started, while Raphael Framberger, Tin Jedvaj, Daniel Baier, Marco Richter and Florian Niederlechner all dropped to the bench – Philipp Max missed out through injury.
After an even opening few minutes, in which FCA had looked to press high, Hertha began to take control of the game. The hosts dominated possession, buts struggled to convert pressure into goalscoring opportunities. The game largely lacked goalmouth action for the first twenty minutes. The Old Lady took the lead with the first real chance of the half. Augsburg failed to clear the ball, which found its way to Javairo Dilrosun. The Dutchman showed some sublime technique and converted from close range. 1-0 to Hertha (23’).
The capital city club were by far the better of the two sides before the break and had a plethora of chances after the goal. Dodi Lukebakio’s header was just over the bar (32’); a short while later, Andreas Luthe made two good saves off Hertha’s veteran front man Vedad Ibisevic (36’, 38’). Augsburg lost the ball far too often going forward and couldn’t create any noteworthy opportunity in the first half.
Richter hits the bar, Piatek seals the deal
Herrlich reacted at half time by sending on two fresh players in Richter (for Eduard Löwen) and Niederlechner (for Córdova) – the away side looked rejuvenated. Not even two minutes after the start of the second half, Sarenren Bazee had the equaliser at his feet, but his close-range effort was smothered by Rune Jarstein (47’). FCA were hungry to get back on level terms and their body language matched this desire. The away side looked to move the ball out wide in order to get around the back of a stretched Hertha defence. Niederlechner had the next chance to get Augsburg back on level terms, but his header was wide of the post (59’).
As the match wore on, Hertha began to rein in Augsburg’s offence and shut down any hint of promising football. However, FCA sprung the trap late on and went agonisingly close to the equaliser. Georg Teigl’s deflected effort was just wide (86’), and Richter’s well-struck effort crashed against the crossbar (89’). A swift Hertha counter, converted by Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek, sealed the deal for the hosts in added time (90’+3). It ended 2-0 to Hertha.
Augsburg are now without a win away at Hertha in their last eight trips to the capital. Next Sunday (June 7, 18:00 CEST), FCA host 1. FC Köln.