At the third attempt, FC Augsburg have won a home match for the first time this season. FCA defeated SC Freiburg 4-1 with a very strong performance. Alfred Finnbogason, who made his first start of the season after overcoming injury, scored a hat-trick to become FCA’s record Bundesliga goalscorer.
FCA coach Manuel Baum made three changes to the side that secured a late 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s Bavarian derby with FC Bayern München: Jonathan Schmid and Marco Richter returned to the starting lineup in place of Raphael Framberger and André Hahn. Alfred Finnbogason, who had been out for a lengthy period with an inflammation of the patella tendon, made his first appearance of the season as he replaced Jan Moravek, who wasn’t included in the matchday squad.
Caiuby gives FCA the lead – Finnbogason doubles the home advantage
Augsburg were in the ascendancy from the moment the match started and went in search of the opening goal by playing direct football. The first good chance of the match fell to Caiuby, who was denied by a good save by Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow, flicking the ball over the bar (15’). Just three minutes later, Marco Richter thought he had given the home side the lead with a charging run into the box but his shot was also saved by Schwolow. However, in the 19th minute, the Freiburg goalkeeper was unable to stop the FCA strikers as a Richter cross was headed home by Caiuby to give Augsburg a deserved lead.
After going 1-0 ahead, FC Augsburg chose to sit back a little, allowing their visitors to come forward but not fully settle into the game. FCA goalkeeper Andreas Luthe was merely a spectator for most of the first and he was able to enjoy seeing FCA double their lead in the 34th minute. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw did well to create space for a cross on the right and his delivery was met by the heel of Finnbogason, providing the deftest touch needed to send the ball into the far corner. It was a dream goal for the Icelandic striker on his return from injury. FCA held on to the 2-0 lead until half-time,a although Luthe was tested for the first time in the match late on by Christian Günter.
A strange goal conceded – Finnbogason reliable from the penalty spot
Just after half-time, Augsburg continued to press forwards in search of a third goal and Michael Gregortisch created two early chances. First of all, he was denied by a good save from Schwolow (46’) before he headed over the bar from a corner (47’). However, Freiburg were not out of the match and managed to grab a goal back in the 49th minute. The Augsburg defence were unable to clear a ball from within the six yard box and Martin Hinteregger was on the line to finally clear the ball – except it hit Jonathan Schmid and the ball bounced unfortunately into his own goal. The goal gave Freiburg some hope and ensured the spectators would enjoy an entertaining second half.
The game became a very open affair after the Freiburg goal, with both teams trying to seize the initiative and create chances. Gregoritsch went close with an attempt that went just over the Freiburg goal (62’). At the other end, Günter went close again as his shot was blocked in the six yard block by Rani Khedira (64’). Just a short time later came the decisive moment of the second half as referee Robert Kampka pointed to the penalty spot after Dominique Heintz fouled Finnbogason in the penalty box. The Icelandic forward stepped up and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner, out of the reach of Schwolow, to restore FCA’s two goal cushion.
Finnbogason seals his hat-trick
FCA were back in control of the match and Jonathan Schmid went close to scoring against his former club in the 73rd minute. However, the French right-back’s shot went narrowly wide of the far post. Luthe was then called into action again in the FCA goal, denying Tim Kleindienst the chance of reducing the deficit. However, it was Finnbogason who had the final say of the day by getting on the end of an Andre Hahn cross to seal his hat-trick and the perfect return from injury.
This result sees FCA secure their first three points in the WWK Arena this season and the side will travel to the Westfalenstadion next Saturday to face Borussia Dortmund (15:30 CEST)