FC Augsburg have been knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the first round as the fourth-tier side SC Verl ran out 2-1 winners.
With five new signings in his starting line-up, coach Martin Schmidt wanted to put qualification for the second round beyond doubt. Czech goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek made his debut for FCA having moved to Augsburg from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes at the start of the week.
FCA came under pressure straight away and SC Verl found the back of the Augsburg net after just three minutes, though Yannick Langesberg’s header was soon ruled out by the linesman’s offside decision. Just a few minutes later, the underdogs did then take the lead when Koubek’s save against Matthias Haeder rebounded off Marek Suchý and into the net for an own goal. After taking the lead, the hosts sat deep in their own half and snuffed out the Augsburg attack. At the other end, Koubek had to pick the ball out of his net again after the home side passed their way through the Augsburg defence and Ron Schallenberg slotted the ball home to make it 2-0 (23’).
Before half time, Verl goalkeeper Robin Brüseke took centre stage, first parrying Michael Gregoritsch’s shot from distance (30’), and then denying André Hahn (40’) and Florian Niederlechner (44’) from close range.
FCA continued to struggle to establish themselves in the game after the break. SC Verl again had the first shot on goal but Aygün Yildirim’s long range effort failed to find the net. Augsburg continued with steady build up play but could not find a chink in the fourth-tier side’s armour.
Towards the end of the match, the visitors threw everything forward as Martin Schmidt brought Rani Khedira and Fredrik Jensen off the bench and switched to a back three. The hosts were running out of steam and in the 83rd minute Lars Ritzka could only stop André Hahn with a foul. A penalty was given and Hahn converted it himself. Despite their best efforts, the game ended in a 2-1 defeat for FC Augsburg that again sent them out in the first round of the Pokal, as was the case in 2014 and 2017. On Saturday 17th August (15:30 CEST), Augsburg start their Bundesliga campaign against Borussia Dortmund.