“More than just nine years of Bundesliga.” – FC Augsburg have used this motto to celebrate securing Bundesliga safety and a ninth year in the German top flight. The foundations for the club’s success were laid eight years ago today. We look back on one of the greatest days in club history.
On 8th May 2011, FCA needed a home victory against FSV Frankfurt on the penultimate matchday of the season to seal Bundesliga promotion. In the weeks preceding the home clash with Frankfurt, the Fuggerstädter fell to a 2-1 defeat against Alemannia Aachen after only managing a 1-1 draw away against Energie Cottbus. Nerves continued to rise in the Augsburg Arena as Jurgen Gjasula gave Frankfurt a shock lead in the third minute. However, FCA top scorer Michael Thurk fired home a 14th minute equaliser to set up a grandstand finish.
The match reached the 85th minute with Augsburg still needing one more goal to clinch promotion. Thurk delivered a corner and FSV goalkeeper Michael Langer came out to punch the ball clear. However, Langer failed to clear the ball and it fell to the feet of 22-year-old striker Stephan Hain. The Augsburg striker fired a left-foot shot home from close range to spark jubilation in the Augsburg Arena. The home side held on to secure a 2-1 home win and a place in the 2011/12 Bundesliga. Reflecting on this infamous day, current FCA captain Daniel Baier said: “That day was simply indescribable as you knew you had written club history.”
Thousands of fans celebrate “Promotion Heroes”
Following the final whistle, celebrations erupted both in the Augsburg Arena as well as in the city centre. Thousands of fans met in Augsburg’s Rathausplatz to celebrate the club reaching the top flight for the first time ever. After FCA’s final match of the season against Hertha BSC, who were also promoted to the Bundesliga, Jos Luhukay’s side celebrated in front of thousands of fans.
Stephan Hain, who scored the winner to secure promotion, went on to make 24 Bundesliga appearances for Augsburg. Hain joined TSV 1860 München after the 2012/13 Bundesliga season and currently plays in the 3. Liga with SpVgg Unterhaching.
There are two members of the current FC Augsburg squad who helped to secure promotion back in 2011. Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker started the 2-1 victory against Frankfurt and has played for the Fuggerstädter ever since. Meanwhile, current captain Daniel Baier also played his part in Augsburg’s historic season. Current goalkeeping coach Zdenko Miletic was also part of the coaching team that secured promotion. However, Stephan Hain will be a name forever associated with that historic afternoon on 8th May 2011.