FC Augsburg secured a well earned 2-1 win in their friendly against Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening. Daniel Baier and André Hahn scored the goals.
The fans came in their numbers to witness FC Augsburg play in their third friendly of the pre-season. It was a rematch of sorts for Manuel Baum’s side, after FCA also played Middlesbrough before the 2017/18 season a year ago and lost 2-1 due to a last minute goal.
The game was also the first time in which Augsburg showed what their new black alternate kits looked like in action, following their reveal last Saturday. Martin Hinteregger was on the ball in a game situation for the first time this summer, after he had an extended holiday due to representing Austria in international action shortly before the World Cup.
FCA didn’t hang about in pushing forward once the whistle blew to start the game, having their first dangerous chance of the game after only five minutes, but newly signed Fredrik Jensen’s shot was well saved by Darren Randolph in the Middlesbrough goal. Augsburg were clearly dictating things and tried their luck time and time again down the wings, although the well organised Boro defense were in good position to deal with it.
That resistance came to an end at exactly 19:07, when captain Dani Baier let fly from 16 metres out with his weaker left foot and curled the ball into the top-left corner. Fredrik Jensen again had a good chance to get on the scoresheet a mere 180 seconds later, but this time Randolph was up to the task of saving it. The visitors from England had their first good chance just before the break, but Patrick Bamford could not keep his shot down after the ball was crossed in from the left, and so the score would remain at 1-0 after 45 minutes played.
The second half started much like the first half had played out – with FCA on top. It was only their precision which was stopping them from adding to their lead. But then Augsburg found themselves on the break again all of a sudden, when one perfectly placed pass found its way into the path of Marcel Heller behind the Middlesbrough defence. The notoriously quick Heller sped away from his opponents and squared the ball towards André Hahn to scored his first goal since making his return to Augsburg (61’).
Vital match practice for FCA squad
Manuel Baum called upon a total of 19 players in the game against the English side in order to give match practice for as many members of his squad as possible. One player who fell under that category was Caiuby, who arrived back in Augsburg late due to an unapproved extension to his holiday, meaning this was his first match action this summer. The Brazilian actually almost scored his side’s third goal, though Randolph managed to push away what was a stinging left-footed strike (85’). Andreas Luthe was also tested down the other end shortly before, when Stewart Downing whipped a free-kick towards the Augsburg net, but the Augsburg goalkeeper reacted well to deny him. Luthe would have to pick the ball out of his net once, however, as Lewis Wing unleashed a perfect shot from 25 metres out shortly before the final whistle to cut FCA’s lead in half. Despite the late goal for Boro, the 2-1 win was more than deserved. Revenge for last year’s result in England had been successfully pulled off.