FC Augsburg played out an entertaining draw against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday, with the final score ending 1-1. The visitors took the lead shortly after the half time break through Kevin Volland (47’), although FCA answered back minutes later thanks to a Kevin Danso header after a bit of a goalmouth scramble (49’).
Manuel Baum was forced into making one change to the side that won 3-0 away to Werder Bremen last week. Alfred Finnbogason was on the bench due to muscle problems, so Ja-Cheol Koo took his place in the starting eleven. Michael Gregoritsch was the man to lead the line in place of the Icelander.
Both teams pushed extremely hard for an opener in the first few minutes of the game. Leverkusen sent FCA a warning in the 5th minute, as Leon Bailey pressed down the right wing, cut inside and tested Marwin Hitz with a sharp shot from 17 metres out. The Switzerland international had no problems with it though, and punched the ball out of the danger area well. The visitors regularly found themselves in Augsburg’s half, but FCA made sure to capitalise on some loose passes to alleviate any potential threats.
The next big moment came in the 19th minute, when Leverkusen had a free kick after Daniel Opare fouled Julian Brandt. Jonathan Tah went up against Kevin Danso to fight for the resulting cross into the box, but his header went just beyond the left post. Michael Gregoritsch had a good chance of his own at the other end of the pitch, but his left-footed shot narrowly went past the left post as well (23’). After that, Philipp Max took the ball down the left hand side on a counter attack and crossed the ball into the far side of the penalty area towards Gregoritsch, who’s header came extremely close to beating Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal.
FCA seemed to be growing in confidence more and more by this stage, and posed a constant threat to their opponent’s goal. They seemed to get a stroke of luck in the 40th minute, when referee Christian Dingert judged the ball to have struck Panagiotis Retsos’ arm in the penalty area. However, after consulting the Video Assistant Referee, he would reverse his original decision. Things would stay goalless as the sides entered the dressing rooms for the half time break.
Lightning quick start to the second half
FCA were caught slightly off guard as the second half began, as Kevin Volland capitalised on a slip from Kevin Danso to give his side the lead. It was a well taken finish from 15 metres out. That lead wouldn’t last long though. After a corner came into the area off the boot of Philipp Max, Gregoritsch headed the ball dangerously towards goal. Leno made the initial save, but didn’t control the rebound, which allowed Kevin Danso to head home from very close range. Not only was it a brilliant response to his earlier mistake, but it was also his first ever Bundesliga goal (49’).
After that lightning quick start to the second period of play, things calmed down a little. Caiuby had a huge chance in the 64th minute, but his header from a great cross from Marcel Heller cannoned off the post. FCA did all they could to find that elusive second goal, but Leverkusen remained equally as dangerous. Manuel Baum tried to bring some energy to the game in the latter stages by bringing on Erik Thommy for Marcel Heller, but ultimately the scores would remain 1-1. Another hard earned point for FCA.