FCA were dealt with a narrow 2-1 loss against VfL Wolfsburg in their first game back after the restart of the Bundesliga season. After coming from behind to equalise in the second half, an injury time winner eventually won all three points for the visitors.
Andreas Luthe lined up in goal for FCA in their first Bundesliga starting XI in ten weeks. Marek Suchý also returned to the squad for the first time since the opening game of the season. Assistant coach Tobias Zellner supported head coach Heiko Herrlich in the dug-out.
Wolfsburg dominated the opening stages in a deserted WWK Arena. The Wolves displayed some impressive interplay but initially struggled to find a way through the patient FCA defence. The first real chance eventually went the way of the hosts. Ruben Vargas tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area after a short-taken corner, but VfL goalkeeper Koen Casteels rose to the challenge and managed to make the save. Just a few minutes later, Wolfsburg orchestrated their first chance of the afternoon, with Paulo Otavio’s shot just missing the far right-hand corner (25’).
The first half was somewhat of a slow burner, with the majority of the action taking place in the middle of the pitch. While FCA often found themselves too loose in possession, VfL struggled to inject any pace or urgency into their attacks. However, despite not having to deal with any sort of threat other than Renato Steffen’s header (31’) and Josip Brekalo’s tame effort (38’), Luthe found himself picking the ball out of the net shortly before the half time whistle. Paulo Otavio’s whipped in ball was met by the head of Steffen, who nodded his side into a 1-0 lead (43’).
Jedvaj equalises – Uduokhai’s goal ruled out
FCA came out of the blocks in the second half as a much improved side, and began to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Marco Richter tested the hands of Koen Casteels with a powerful strike just a few minutes into the half (49’), shortly before FCA managed to find their equaliser. Philipp Max’s curled free kick was directed goalward by Wolfsburg defender John Anthony Brooks, before Tin Jedvaj headed home the equaliser after Casteels failed to deal with the danger (54’).
Another ball in from Max almost turned the game completely on its head, however Felix Brych disallowed the goal after consultation with the video referee showed that Felix Uduokhai was standing in an offside position as the ball was played in. At the other end of the pitch, FCA were handed a huge slice of luck, as Admir Mehmedi found himself unmarked in the penalty area, but could only hit the post with his powerful close-range effort (71’).
Ginczek shocks FCA in injury time
Mehmedi’s chance seemed to give the visitors a boost of confidence, with Steffen coming just as close a few moments later (81’). While FCA struggled to hold onto a point in the closing minutes of the game, Wolfsburg continued to pepper the Augsburg goal and eventually found their winner in injury time. Kevin Mbabu fizzed in a menacing ball from the right-hand side, leaving Daniel Ginczek with the simple task of tapping the ball into the net (90+1).
The Fuggerstädter were ultimately left empty handed in their first Bundesliga match behind closed doors. FCA will travel to FC Schalke 04 on Sunday 24th May (13:30 CEST) for their next league game.