FC Augsburg were held to a 1-1 draw in their first home game of the season against 1. FC Union Berlin. After a very challenging first half, Augsburg took the lead in the second. But Union pulled one back to take a point home from the WWK ARENA.
Augsburg head coach Martin Schmidt made three changes to the team who had played in the 5-1 opening day defeat at Borussia Dortmund. Along with new signings Stephan Lichtsteiner and Tin Jedvaj, who had both signed for the team during the week, Schmidt also started Philipp Max, who had been unavailable against Dortmund due to injury. Georg Teigl, Marek Suchý and Mads Pedersen started on the bench.
Under the radiant August sunshine, the first half of the match was a cagey affair. Both teams attempted to venture forward, but their offensive strategies were hindered by a great deal of misplaced passes. Augsburg looked the better of the two teams, but lacked a killer instinct against newly-promoted Union Berlin, meaning that most of the action in the first half was confined to the middle of the park.
It took almost half an hour until the first notable chance. Michael Gregoritsch headed the ball over from a corner (25’), while at the other end of the pitch Anthony Ujah pulled his shot wide after a Berlin counter (27’). A long-distance effort from Marius Bülter flew just over the crossbar (35’), before Tomáš Koubek denied a header from Keven Schlotterbeck (35’). The guests had the last big chance before the break, as Jedvaj made a last-ditch tackle to block a shot from Robert Andrich (44’).
Vargas sends the fans into raptures – Koubek prevents a would-be equaliser
After the break, Augsburg increased the pressure and began to push the guests back into their own half. After a cross from Max, Florian Niederlechner attempted to power a header at goal, but his effort was right at Rafal Gikiewicz (54’). Shortly after, FCA were finally rewarded when Niederlechner won the ball and ran down the wing to put the ball into the penalty box where Ruben Vargas was unmarked, and the new signing swept in from close range to give Augsburg a 1-0 lead.
Augsburg nearly scored again soon after, but Jedvaj narrowly missed from a corner (66’). Union Berlin lost a little of their momentum, but they came within a whisker of an equaliser when Lichtsteiner sent the ball backwards towards his own goal and Koubek was forced to claw it off the line (71’). At the other end, Niederlechner missed another chance one-on-one with Gikiewicz, pulling his shot wide.
Andersson scores the equaliser – Schlotterbeck sees red
In the closing stages, the Union Berlin pressure increased and a long-distance effort by Christopher Lenz would have equalised had it not been for the post (78’). The untimely equaliser came five minutes later: after losing possession in the build-up, the visitors pushed forward en masse, and Sebastian Polter laid it off to Sebastian Andersson, who equalised to make it 1-1 in the 80th minute. The final few minutes were primed for drama. Schlotterbeck was sent off in the 84th minute for a bad tackle on Niederlechner. Augsburg also had good chances to win the match: A free kick from Gregoritsch in the 86th minute just missed, while André Hahn was unable to get on the end of a pass by a hair’s breadth in the 89th minute. And Gikiewicz was at hand to save a shot by Alfred Finnbogason in the 95th minute of added time. Despite the late Augsburg offensive the score remained 1-1. Augsburg have a chance to pick up their first win of the season next week awaz at SV Werder Bremen on the 1st September 15:30.