FC Augsburg will be playing top flight football next season. After a 2-0 victory over 1. FSV Mainz on matchday 31, any slight chances of relegation were ended. Michael Gregoritsch (29’) and the returning Alfred Finnbogason (90+1’) scored the goals for the home side.
Two changes were made to the team that drew with Wolfsburg last week: Marco Richter and Alfred Finnbogason started in the places of Sergio Córdova and the suspended Jan Moravek. For Finnbogason it was his first appearance since suffering a calf injury all the way back in January.
Augsburg began with intent in the hot temperatures at the WWK Arena. Jonathan Schmid played in an early cross in the second minute, where Alfred Finnbogason was waiting to direct the ball towards goal. His header wasn’t accurate enough, however, and flew over the bar. Mainz were not devoid of chances themselves either, emphasised by a nice counter-attack which sent an early warning to the home side (5’). FCA were still the more threatening side nonetheless, even if they were lacking in clear cut chances.
After a Mainz corner that Ja-Cheol could only clear into the feet of Levin Öztunali, the midfielder missed the target to the right. Then it came. On the ensuing counter-attack, Marco Richter flew down the right wing before finding Finnbogason on the edge of the box. The Iceland international showed superb vision to pick out his teammate Michael Gregoritsch, who himself cut inside coolly to give Augsburg the lead from 12 metres out (29’).
Richter almost made it two minutes later, after an audacious back-heeled effort on the back of a right-sided cross almost caught René Adler out (33’). The Mainz keeper parried the shot, however, and followed it up by also denying Gregoritsch to keep his side in the game (34’). FCA kept on pushing and looked to secure their second before the half-time whistle. It wasn’t to be though, and they had to settle for a 1-0 advantage going into the dressing rooms.
Finnbogason ends all doubt
Mainz came out of the break slightly more aggressive and were almost rewarded for it when Suat Serdar had a pop at goal. His shot would go narrowly over, though (53’). In general, the guests couldn’t really create any meaningful threat. Augsburg were the side in control, but they didn’t take any uncessary risks in their effort to build on their lead.
Marco Richter had a huge chance to get the second in the 70th minute, when he found himself all alone in front of Adler. The former Germany international saved well though, and Mainz still clung on. They did so until added time, when Alfred Finnbogason finally slammed the door on any hopes of a comeback. With Adler up for a corner, the Icelandic striker found himself all alone in front of a goal guarded by a few Mainz defenders, making no mistake in smashing home FCA’s second and with it securing his side’s Bundesliga status for the eighth season since being promoted to the top flight in 2010.