What a thriller! FC Augsburg staged a late comeback to earn a 3-2 victory over SV Werder Bremen in their first home game of 2017. The visitors had taken the lead through Theodor Gebre Selassie midway through the first half, but Jonathan Schmid quickly levelled for FCA three minutes later. Max Kruse restored Werder’s lead after the break when he converted a penalty, before Ja-Cheol Koo notched another equaliser for the hosts. The game was sealed in the third and final minute of stoppage timewhen Raul Bobadilla stuck the ball into the net to give Augsburg all three points in dramatic fashion.
Three changes were made to the starting line-up that began during the 2-1 away victory in Wolfsburg last weekend. Raphael Framberger made way for skipper Paul Verhaegh, who had been sidelined due to illness. Injured Jan Moravek was replaced by Dominik Kohr and Jonathan Schmid started the game in place of Takashi Usami. Winter acquisition Moritz Leitner started the match from the bench.
The hosts were the more active team from the very first whistle. Halil Altintop forced Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald into a first save nine minutes into the match. At the other end, Zlatko Junuzovic called Marwin Hitz into action with a shot from a tight angle after 23 minutes.
The visitors took lead after a free-kick by Junuzovic ended up with at the feet of the unmarked Selassie, who slotted home from close range. But Augsburg had an answer almost immediately, as Bobadilla kept possession despite pressure from a number of Bremen players, only to flick the ball into the path of Schmid, who fired home with a powerful strike for the equaliser – Schmid’s first Bundesliga goal since joining Augsburg.
Both teams displayed a lot of passion and it was an end-to-end affair on the pitch, but no more goals were scored in the first half. Bremen had more of the play in the stages after the break, while FCA waited for opportunities to counter. Midway through the second half, Germany international Serge Gnabry charged into the penalty area but was brought down by Martin Hinteregger, and the referee pointed towards the spot. Max Kruse stepped up and sent Hitz the wrong way to give Werder a 2-1 lead.
Augsburg now had to open up at the back, as they pushed forward looking for another equaliser. With ten minutes left to play, Ja-Cheol Koo found the back of the net, which sparked wild celebrations both on the pitch and in the stands. But it was nowhere close to over yet, as Bremen nearly took the lead for a third time from Gnabry’s free kick, but Hitz produced a strong reaction stop. In the last minute of the game, Raul Bobadilla grabbed the winner for Augsburg, earning them their first home win of 2017.