FC Augsburg have fallen to a late 2-1 defeat away to 1. FSV Mainz 05 after a competitive match which sprung into life in the final ten minutes. Dong-Won Ji had given FCA the lead with just eight minutes to go before two late goals saw Mainz snatch victory.
FCA coach Manuel Baum opted for an unchanged starting lineup from the 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach before the international break. Goalkeeper Andreas Luthe, who was ruled out of the trip to Mainz with a thigh problem, was replaced on the bench by Benjamin Leneis.
Both teams didn’t want to sit back and invite pressure, instead attacking early in the match to try and unsettle their opponents. FCA had the best of the early chances, with Michael Gregoritsch having an 8th minute strike disallowed as he was in an offside position. The visitors then started to take control of proceedings, despite playing away from home, as FCA created numerous chances but were not rewarded with a goal from their efforts.
The match then started to lost momentum and pace as Mainz started to come back into the match towards the middle of the first half. The home side created good opportunities through Robin Quaison, who headed over in the 23rd minute, before the Mainz striker was denied in a one-on-one situation by FCA goalkeeper Fabian Giefer (30’). Mainz were the stronger side at this point of the match with FCA starting to sit back and invite the hosts forward. Just before half time, Mainz had the ball in the back of the Augsburg net but referee Martin Petersen had noticed a foul by Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta (45+2’).
Ji comes off the bench, scores and then suffers injury
FCA seized the initiative after half-time, taking the game to Mainz. However, the game lacked any big chances until the 60th minute when Ja-Cheol Koo went close with a dangerous header. Pierre Kunde then went close at the other end as his long distance shot went narrowly over the bar (63’). Neither side could grab a stronghold on the match in the middle part of the second half, despite Philipp Max (65’) and substitute Caiuby going close for FCA (71’). Apart from these chances, much of the match took place in the middle third of the pitch.
Manuel Baum brought on Dong-Won Ji for Michael Gregoritsch for the closing stages of the match and it proved to be an effective substitution just minutes later as the South Korean international fired home from 25 metres out to give FCA the lead. Unfortunately for Ji, he got injured whilst celebrating and scoring his goal so had to be replaced by Sergio Córdova. Augsburg’s lead didn’t last for long as FCA goalkeeper Fabian Giefer failed to deal with a Mainz free-kick and Anthony Ujah was there to fire home the equaliser from close distance (87’). However, more was still to come for Mainz as Giefer could only spill ball from a free-kick into the feet of Alexandru Maxim and the Romanian couldn’t miss (90+3’). This gave Mainz all three points and unlucky Augsburg ended up taking nothing out of the match.
FCA now have four points from their opening three Bundesliga matches of the season and will hope to bounce back in their next match at home to SV Werder Bremen next Saturday (15:30 CEST).