FC Augsburg’s first friendly of their pre-season trip to England took place this afternoon against Championship side Middlesbrough FC. The match ended 2-1 to Middlesbrough FC, despite the score being level at half-time.
On Saturday morning, the FC Augsburg squad flew to England from Memmingen airport. After eating lunch, the players made their way to the Riverside stadium. This afternoon’s friendly was important for Middlesbrough as they begin their league games next weekend.
FC Augsburg head coach Manuel Baum announced ahead of the trip that he wanted to give certain players some more game time but also wanted to see his key players play the full length of the match. “It is important that we let players get more game time instead of changing the whole team at half-time,” said Baum. For this reason, Baum left a few players out of the squad for the first friendly against Middlesbrough.
Having recovered from his long-time injury, Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker led the team out onto the pitch as captain. FC Augsburg had the first big chance of the game. Konstantinos Stafylidis took a corner, however it was blocked and the ball came back to the Greek player. The defender didn’t think twice and had a shot from a tight angle from the edge of the box and the ball went straight into the top corner. It was the perfect start for FC Augsburg.
Shortly after, FC Augsburg goalkeeper Andreas Luthe had to risk everything to keep his team in the game as Britt Assombalonga came towards him in a one-on-one. Luthe managed to clear the ball out for a corner. At the other end of the pitch, Marcel Heller put a good ball into the Middlesbrough box but neither Raul Bobadilla nor Sergio Córdoba could head a foot to it. In the 33th minute, FC Augsburg got the ball into the Middlesbrough net for the second time, but Marcel Heller was ruled offside.
FC Augsburg miss the chance to build on their lead
FC Augsburg did not make the most of their chances to build on their lead and Middlesbrough managed to get a goal back before half-time. Martin Braithwaite met a perfectly placed cross at the back post and left Andi Luthe no chance to save.
The teams went into the tunnel 1-1 at the break in front of 7,800 spectators at the Riverside stadium.
FC Augsburg were finding it more difficult to create chances in the second half. Substitute Takashi Usami had the first goal-scoring opportunity of the second half, but his shot from the right-hand side went just over the bar. Just one minute later, Gojko Kacar came close to scoring the winner for FC Augsburg but his header was cleared off the line by a Middlesbrough defender.
Towards the end of the match, it became more noticeable that Middlesbrough FC are starting their season next week whilst FC Augsburg are still in the middle of their pre-season preparations. Middlesbrough were quicker on the ball and Adam Forshaw scored the winner for the English side from a counter-attack in the 89th minute.
FC Augsburg will now fly from Middlesbrough down to the south of the country to face Southampton FC in their second friendly on Wednesday 2nd August.