After two defeats away from home this season, FC Augsburg managed to pick up a point today against third-placed SC Freiburg. Augsburg came back from a goal down at Freiburg and had a lot of luck in the closing stages to ensure that they managed to take anything from the game at all. But Augsburg had a certain ex-Freiburg player to thank for the final result.
Martin Schmidt made two changes to the side that won 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt last week. Stephan Lichtsteiner returned to the starting eleven following his suspension for a red card against Bremen, while Andre Hahn also started. Raphael Framberger was rested following his return to competitive football last week and Marco Richter started on the bench.
Freiburg started the season with three wins from three games and their dominance showed in the opening stages of the game. Nils Petersen fired a warning shot past Koubek’s post early on (3’), while FCA had a chance through Niederlechner five minutes later only for the German to blaze it over the bar (8’). Freiburg had much more possession than the visitors in the first quarter of an hour, and soon began to turn the screw. Following a corner, Koubek saved the initial effort from Robin Koch, only for the ball to find its way to Freiburg captain Mike Frantz, who fired through a sea of legs and produce a miraculous reflex save from the Czech between the sticks (15’).
Höler gives Freiburg the lead – Niederlechner equalises
Not long afterwards however, the hosts finally found a way past the Augsburg goalkeeper. After the ball was crossed into the Augsburg penalty area from the left, it rebounded to Lucas Höler, who swept the ball into the net past a stranded Koubek to make it 1-0 to Freiburg. Following the goal there was a lull, as Freiburg continued to dominate possession, but nothing tangible came of it. Augsburg waited patiently to counter-attack, but chances were few and far between because of the danger the hosts posed.
The equaliser, therefore, was as unexpected as it was beautifully executed. Alfred Finnbogason crossed the ball into Jan Moravek, who split the defence with a pass for Niederlechner. The ex-Freiburg player worked some space and almost passed it into the far corner to level the scores at 1-1 – his third goal of the season.
FCA lucky as Höfler and Petersen hit the post.
After the break FCA pressed a lot higher, were a lot more confident with the ball and as a result the game was a lot more balanced. However, due to the shared desire of both teams to not concede again, most of the second half became a cagier affair, and for a long time the only noteworthy attempt on goal was Finnbogason’s effort in the 51st minute.
In the closing stages of the game, neither team looked like scoring until the 86th minute, when Freiburg’s Nicolas Höfler found himself unmarked in the area, but his curling shot kissed the outside of the far post. FCA had luck on their side shortly after, when a header from Petersen hit the inside of the post and bounced back to Koubek (88’). Freiburg almost took the lead through an Augsburg own goal where Felix Uduokhai almost chipped goalkeeper Tomas Koubek with a misjudged clearance, but Koubek was on hand to parry it over, so the score remained 1-1.
After losing their first two away games, Augsburg were able to take a point back to the WWK ARENA for the first time this season. On Saturday, 28th September, (15:30 CEST) FCA are back at home to face Bayer Leverkusen.