FC Augsburg have fallen to a heavy defeat in their final match of the season. The Fuggerstädter fell to a 8-1 defeat away against VfL Wolfsburg.
For the final game of the season, head coach Martin Schmidt made four changes from the side that suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 stoppage time defeat to Hertha BSC last weekend. FCA academy graduate Simon Asta made his first start for the club, coming in at right-back. Christoph Janker and Dong-Won Ji both started as they made their final FCA appearances before leaving at the end of the season. Janker’s contract is expiring while Ji will join Mainz for next season. Michael Gregoritsch also started as Philipp Max (concussion) and Ja-Cheol Koo (adductor problem) missed the trip to Wolfsburg with injury. Jan Moravek and Georg Teigl both dropped to the bench.
Wolfsburg needed a win to secure Europa League football for next season and the hosts started the match on the front foot. However, after Wolfsburg hit the bar from a header, it was Augsburg who created the first clear chance of the match as Michael Gregoritsch fired a shot narrowly wide of the far post from long range (11’). However, the visitors then started to sit and this invited pressure from Wolfsburg. Elvis Rexhbecaj also tried his luck from long range as the hosts grew in confidence. The Wolves then made their pressure count by taking a 21st minute lead. Gregor Kobel came off his line to clear a cross but was unable to collect the ball after colliding with Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. Unfortunately for the visitors, Wout Weghorst was on hand to poke home the ball and open the scoring.
Wolfsburg continued to be the dominant side as Augsburg failed to create any clear cut chances to draw level. Defensively, FCA also struggled to clear the ball and this invited even more pressure. After Augsburg cleared a cross in the 37th minute, Weghorst was on hand once to slot home and double Wolfsburg’s lead. Shortly before half-time, Augsburg’s task at a potential fightback became even harder as Robin Knoche headed home from five metres out (41’). This gave Wolfsburg a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Wolfsburg build upon their lead – Schieber scores first Augsburg goal
Despite Schmidt making two half-time changes to try to find a way back into the match, the second half started just as the first half ended. Augsburg pressed for a goal to get back into the match as Marco Richter fired an early test at Pavao Pervan in the Wolfsburg goal (52’). However, Kobel was beaten three times in five minutes as Wolfsburg wrapped up a deserved victory before the hour mark. Weghorst broke clear of the Augsburg defence to seal his hat-trick (55’) before Daniel Ginczek linked up well with Yannick Gerhardt to add his name to the scoresheet (57’). On the hour mark, Rexhbecaj curled a left-footed shot beyond the outstretched Kobel into the corner to make the score 6-0 (60’).
In the final hour, Wolfsburg took their foot off the gas in attack and this invited Augsburg to seek a consolation goal. Gregoritsch fired a shot over the bar (67’) as the visitors continued to endeavour to find a route back into the match. The Fuggerstädter were finally rewarded with something to cheer about in the 82nd minute. Richter broke clear on a counter attack and played in substitute Julian Schieber, who fired a shot into the roof of the net to secure a consolation goal. This was Schieber’s first goal for the club. At the other end, Wolfsburg rubbed salt into Augsburg wounds with two more late goals. Wolves substitute Josip Brekalo fired a shot above Kobel to make it 7-1 (85’) before Kevin Danso turned a cross into his own net (89’).
Wolfsburg secured their place in next season’s Europa League while Augsburg end the season in 15th place with 32 points. The Fuggerstädter’s will start next season in the DFB-Pokal first round on the weekend of 9th-12th August 2019. FCA will start their ninth consecutive Bundesliga season a week later.