FC Augsburg narrowly lost their final pre-season friendly before competitive football returns: Athletic Club Bilbao ran out 1-0 winners in the WWK Arena thanks to a goal from Unai López in the 72nd minute.
Despite their passing and movement not quite being at 100 percent, FCA had the better of the game in the opening stages. Michael Gregoritsch was the first to test Bilbao’s goalkeeper, but his effort in the eleventh minute was too central. Ten minutes later, Marco Richter broke free down the left and let fly, his shot also too close to the ‘keeper.
Our visitors from the Basque region were not without chances of their own, however. Giefer was on hand on one occasion to deny them a first-half goal and watched another effort zip just wide of his post.
The best chance of the half did fall to Baum’s men though, when Framberger played a square pass into the middle where an unmarked Gregoritsch turned the ball towards goal, only to be denied again by an alert Remiro between the sticks for Bilbao.
The second half continued in a similar fashion, albeit with a number of substitutions on both sides. Gregoritsch saw yet another effort parried away by the goalkeeper in the 49th minute, before Philipp Max’s dangerous cross was turned away at the near post by a defender just four minutes later. Augsburg were on the front foot, but it was Athletic Bilbao who took a surprise lead on 72 minutes. FCA failed to clear their lines from a corner and the ball fell to Unai López who beat Giefer from the left edge of the penalty area.
FCA pushed to equalise quickly and were not lacking support from the stands. A flurry of corners followed but the players couldn’t convert any of them. The ball would just not cross the line for Manuel Baum’s men today.