Augsburg started the new year with a scrappy performance against struggling Hamburg, but ultimately came away with all three points. The game’s lone goalscorer was South Korea international Ja-Cheol Koo, whose thumping header on the stroke of half time was his first of the season (45’).
Manuel Baum made two changes to the side that drew against Freiburg in the final game before the winter break: Ja-Cheol Koo and Sergio Córdova replaced Alfred Finnbogason and Marcel Heller.
The visitors came out of the blocks fast. In the second minute, André Hahn crossed the ball in from the right flank to find Bobby Wood, but his header wasn’t enough to beat Marwin Hitz. A mere two minutes later, however, FCA were threatening themselves at the other end. Caiuby found himself alone in front of the keeper on the back of a counter-attack, but his miscued shot missed the target (4’). Augsburg would continue to be on top in the early stages. Michael Gregoritsch was the next to have a good chance at scoring, although his right-footed attempt was brilliantly blocked by a sliding Dennis Diekmeier (15’)
As the game went on, Augsburg took on the initiative more and more. After just over 30 minutes played, Michael Gregoritsch tried an audacious volley against his former club, but Pollersbeck did enough to keep the shot out (32’). FCA finally managed to beat the man in net on the stroke of half time. A sublime cross from Caiuby found Koo waiting in the middle of the box, and the South Korean’s powerful header went straight into the corner of the net (45’). The scores would stay at 1-0 as the sides went into the dressing rooms at half time.
As the game resumed in the second half, both sides found it hard to create many chances as things became scrappy. Bobby Wood managed to get a rare shot off for Hamburg, however, but it went straight into the arms of Hitz (55’). After that, FCA dominated the rest of the way. The closest the home side came to doubling their lead came courtesy of Philipp Max, whose left footed rocket cannoned off the post (75’).
The visitors threw everything forward in the closing stages, though other than two half-chances from Luca Waldschmidt (77’) and Vasilije Janijic (79’), the seemingly permanent Bundesliga fixtures couldn’t find a breakthrough. The score would remain 1-0 as the final whistle blew, leaving FCA with a first win of 2018 and 27 Bundesliga points for the season overall.