Hertha BSC were the visitors to the WWK ARENA on the second Sunday of Advent. FCA could only manage a 1-1 draw in the end despite an impressive performance. Caiuby gave Augsburg a well-deserved lead in the 74th minute before Hertha nabbed an equaliser in stoppage time.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum was forced into changing the whole of the right side of his team. Daniel Opare missed out through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card last week whilst Erik Thommy was not available due to a high ankle sprain. Raphael Framberger took Opare’s place in the back four whilst Marcel Heller started in front of him. Rani Khedira, who had been out injured recently, returned to the bench.
Both teams were very compact in the opening stages, with neither side making the most of possession when they won the ball back. As the game went on, FCA took control of the game and had a big chance to go into the lead – Caiuby won the ball and bore down on goal but Rune Jarstein was equal to his effort. Just minutes later, Augsburg had another chance, with Ja-Cheol Koo firing over the bar after a free-kick was lofted into the area.
Bad luck for Augsburg – Heller hits the crossbar
FCA remained the dominant team and continued to press high. Shots from Maximilian Mittelstädt and Sebastian Langkamp failed to trouble Hitz before FCA had another chance to take the lead, through Caiuby once again. He headed just wide from a Heller cross (31’).
Augsburg continued to dictate and they were unlucky again to not lead as Heller’s shot, after being played in by Framberger, struck the crossbar. As the first half drew to a close, the hosts continued to press for the opener but to no avail and the game was goalless at half time.
Caiuby’s cracker gives Augsburg a well-deserved lead
After the break, FCA continued to have more of the chances. Baum’s side often lacked the killer final ball, meaning the home side struggled to create clear chances. At the other end, the ex-Augsburg player Alexander Esswein called Hitz into action after FCA lost the ball in midfield but the ‘keeper was equal to the effort (60’).
The “Old Lady” seemed content with a point and so sat deep, rarely pushing many men forward. Augsburg found it hard to create dangerous goalscoring chances against Hertha’s compact defence. A set-piece took care of that. Jarstein tipped a Caiuby header round for a corner and from the resulting corner, the Brazilian chested down the ball and smashed it past Jarstein into the net (74’).
This seemed to wake Hertha up and they began pushing men forward. FCA were secure at the back and didn’t let in many chance, in fact, they had chances to extend the lead – Gregoritsch could only find the side netting after being played through brilliantly by Framberger (82’) and substitute Jonathan Schmid fired just wide a minute later. As almost everyone in the stadium was preparing to celebrate a home win, Hertha grabbed an equaliser through Salomon Kalou. The substitute volleyed it home from a corner to rescue a point for the visitors (91’).