It’s a case of what could have been following Saturday’s game against Hertha Berlin. After leading 2-0 in the 83rd minute, the home side pulled themselves level. FCA’s goals came courtesy of Michael Gregoritsch (32’) and Sergio Córdova (61’).
Andreas Luthe made his first appearance this season against Hertha, as Manuel Baum decided to give Marwin Hitz the week off. “Andreas Luthe has completely deserved this opportunity,” said Baum before kick-off. Jan Moravek also started in defensive midfield, after Ja-Cheol Koo suffered a knee injury last week.
Luthe was called into action as early as the second minute, when he palmed a dangerous looking cross over the bar. The hosts were in control in the early stages, although Salomon Kalou couldn’t bring the ball under control in his attempt to give his side the lead (6’). FCA didn’t just roll over and let it happen though – Jonathan Schmid found himself alone and in space inside of the Hertha box, but Karim Rekik was able to get in the way and deny the Frenchman (10’).
While Hertha were able to have more possession, it was the men from Augsburg who had the better of the dangerous chances. But it was a mistake from Per Skjelbred that almost resulted in the the visitors taking the lead. His poor backpass was intercepted by Alfred Finnbogason, who unfortunately couldn’t quite poke the ball beyond Rune Jarstein (22’).
Manuel Baum’s side were playing well structured attacking football by the time the 30th minute rolled around. And they were rewarded for it in the 32nd minute. Michael Gregoritsch took a long range shot from around 25 metres out, before a huge deflection caught Jarstein completely off guard and allowed the ball to trickle into the bottom left corner. It would remain 1-0 as the two teams headed into the break.
The second half got off to a slow start, as Hertha tried and failed to break down the Augsburg defence. Baum’s side set out to keep their lead and still push forward as much as they could. Goalscorer Michael Gregoritsch had to leave the field due to a minor thigh injury, which meant Sergio Córdova came on in his place (59’). After precisely 103 seconds of being on the pitch, Córdova found the back of the net. The 20-year-old Venezuelan collected the ball, turned around defender Niklas Stark before firing in his second goal of the season to double FCA’s lead (61’).
A seemingly shocked Hertha side then tried extremely hard to get themselves back into the game, although Rani Khedira barely missed a further chance to add to the lead. The defensive midfielder put his shot to the left of the goal after a beautiful combination (69’).
But what seemed like a certain victory was not to be. After just coming on to the pitch, Christoph Janker brought down Davie Selke in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Vedad Ibisevic made no mistake (84’). And it only got worse for the visitors. Davie Selke fought his way through after he beat Janker to the ball and beat Andreas Luthe to equalise. Marcel Heller also got sent off just before the game’s conclusion for a cynical professional foul.