Around 1,500 were present on Tuesday evening at the Alexander-Moksel-Stadion to watch FC Augsburg’s third friendly as part of the pre-season preparations. The Fuggerstädter came out on top against FC Tokyo from the Japanese J-League after Christoph Janker got the winner in the final minute to make it 2-1 to FCA.
Head coach Manuel Baum wanted to use the friendly against the side from the Japanese first division to give a number of players the chance to gain some match practice. Indeed he made eleven changes at half time, only having to do without new signing Sergio Córdova and Gojko Kacar, who are away as part of their applications for Visas for the trip to England.
Despite numerous energy-draining sessions in the last few days, Baum’s side took the initiative going forward right from the offset to put pressure on the Tokyo defence. However clear-cut opportunities were few and far between in the opening minutes of the match. In fact it was FCA’s defence who were threatened, when Peter Utaka Kensuke Nagai latched on to a long ball but Ioannis Gelios was on hand to thwart any shooting opportunity.
Augsburg dominate but cannot get that luck they need
FC Augsburg continued to stamp their authority on the match and really should have already been in front by the time they reached the midway point of the first half. But efforts from new signing Marcel Heller, Raul Bobadilla and Takashi Usami failed to find the target. It was Heller who had the best opportunity of the first 45 minutes after he was played in superbly by midfielder Daniel Baier but his shot flew inches wide of the post.
FCA picked up where they left off as they started the second half on the front foot. They were bold going forward and their work was finally rewarded, with Michael Gregoritsch finishing coolly into the corner after he was played through by Erik Thommy. Despite barely threatening the Augsburg goal, Tokyo bagged themselves an equaliser from a free-kick just after the hour mark.
Yoshiyuki Shinoda’s men’s confidence was clearly boosted by their fine goal and the momentum began to swing their way. FC Augsburg were lucky not to find themselves 2-1 down in the 79th minute as Ryoichi Maeda had a free header from close range but could not convert. Yet just as the fans were ready to leave seeing their team draw, Christoph Janker headed in during added time to secure the victory for Baum’s side.