FC Augsburg earned a 0-0 draw away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Wednesday evening.
Dirk Schuster had to make some changes to the team that started the match against Mainz 05 at the weekend. New signing Gojko Kacar came into the starting XI for the injured Dominik Kohr. It was the Serbian midfielder’s first starting appearance in an FCA shirt. Another new addition to the starting XI was midfielder Jan Movarek, replacing Raul Bobadilla. Movarek played in midfield behind striker Alfred Finnbogason, while the two Koreans Dong-Won Ji and Ja-Cheol started on either wing.
The FCA players executed coach Dirk Schuster’s game plan relatively well in the first 45 minutes. They were solid in defence and tried to cause problems for Leverkusen with quick, counterattacking football. The team’s defensive stability reduced the hosts to just a few chances. Both Kevin Volland and Chicharito had two headed opportunities for Leverkusen from set pieces. And shortly before the break, Charles Aranguiz had the best chance for the home side, only to hit it over Marwin Hitz and the bar.
FCA themselves had two chances: Gojko Kacar was not able to convert after the ball fell to him from a corner and not long later, Dong-Won Ji charged down the left-hand side, cut in and released a shot. Although it was deflected, it still forced the Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno into a save.
Augsburg went into the dressing room in their neon yellow kit with the match goalless at half-time, when they heard the bad news that they needed to make a substitution due to injury. Ja-Cheol Koo had suffered an open wound above his ankle, meaning that he was not able to continue. He was replaced by Philipp Max who came on at left wing, while Dong-Won Ji moved over to the right hand side.
It was a similar story after the break: Bayer Leverkusen tried to take the game to Augsburg, but the FCA defence stood strong and let nothing in behind them. There was a scare for the away side in the 73rd minute: referee Jochen Drees suddenly pointed to the spot for Bayer Leverkusen after Jeffrey Gouweleeuw brought down Kevin Volland in the box. But it was not to be. Perhaps it made up for the orginal decision as Charles Aranguiz blasted the ball wide.
FCA had their best opportunity to take the lead just two minutes later. After a ball into the box from Philipp Max, Jan Moravek struck the ball cleanly but Bernd Leno was able to tip the ball over the bar with a bit of luck and skill.
In the final seconds of the match, Marwin Hitz made a sensational save to make sure that the Fuggerstädter left Leverkusen with a point. Stefan Kießling headed the ball after a cross from Julian Brandt but the Augsburg keeper parried it to the side with a quick reflex save and with that secured a point for FCA.