FC Augsburg battled in their first Bundesliga game after the international break to earn a 1-1 draw with FC Schalke 04. Nabil Bentaleb put the away side in front in the 65th minute but Daniel Baier hit the equaliser in the 77th minute to finish the match all square.
Jonathan Schmid made his starting debut in a FCA shirt against the Royal Blues, replacing Philipp Max who was subsequently on the bench. Halil Altintop also made his first appearance for the Fuggerstädter this season. The Turk came into the starting XI ahead of Alfred Finnbogason after he picked up an injury whilst on international duty with Iceland. In addition, Christoph Janker started the match unlike in the 2-1 defeat to Leipzig, replacing Jeffrey Gouweleeuw.
The build-up to the match was dominated by the return of Markus Weinzierl, who was head coach at FC Augsburg for four years. Abdul Rahman Baba’s inclusion in the Schalke team also represented the return of another former FCA man to the WWK ARENA. Augsburg’s Philipp Max, Halil Altintop and Marvin Friedrich likewise were facing their former clubs in this encounter.
Benedikt Höwedes headed it to Breel Embolo’s feet after a corner from Johannes Geis. Embolo flicked it but his shot came off the post, although he was adjudged to be offside anyway. Geis hit a free-kick in the 17th minute just millimetres over the FCA crossbar. The opening phase of the match contained little action in either side’s box and was played out mostly in the middle of the park.
FC Augsburg, who approached the game with a defensive mindset, had to wait until the 35th minute for their first chance of the match. After a cross from Konstantinos Stafylidis, Jonathan Schmid headed it towards the Schalke goal from 16 metres out. However it was straight at Ralf Fährmann, who comfortably collected the ball. Immediately at the other end of the pitch, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting volleyed just over the bar. The teams went into the dressing rooms with the score goalless at half time.
FCA started the second half better than the away side. A shot from distance by Daniel Baier forced Fährmann into a fingertip save that went just over the bar. Augsburg were now putting a lot more pressure on Schalke than they had done in the first half. Benedikt Höwedes made a tackle on Schmid in midfield, which had he not made, the FCA attacker would have been one-on-one with Fährmann.
Schalke then broke the deadlock through Nabil Bentaleb in the 65th minute. The Algerian struck the crossbar with a shot from 17 metres out, but the ball bounced down, over the goalline and in. Yevhen Konoplyanka should have made it 2-0 to the Royal Blues shortly afterwards but Marwin Hitz made an excellent save with his feet to keep FCA in the game.
Augsburg would not give up and pushed for the equaliser in front of a sold-out home crowd. Schmid tried a shot from 18 metres out in the 75th minute but it went straight at Fährmann. However the ball landed at Daniel Baier’s feet just two minutes later and he made no mistake, slamming it into the top right corner.
Augsburg piled on the pressure in the final minutes of the game, throwing everything they had at the Schalke defence. Ja-Cheol Koo tried a shot from distance in the 84th minute, while Stafylidis could only find the side-netting with a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Augsburg ultimately just could not find the winning goal and it stayed all square until the final whistle, finishing 1-1.