Despite a very strong performance and high morale to get back in the match, FC Augsburg come away from their trip to Borussia Dortmund empty handed. FCA fell to a last gasp 4-3 defeat in the Signal Iduna Park, despite Michael Gregortisch scoring in the 87th minute to draw Augsburg level. The match had been an entertaining encounter with FCA leading 2-1 with just eleven minutes to go.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum made two changes to the side that defeated SC Freiburg 4-1 last Sunday in the WWK Arena. Raphael Framberger replaced Jonathan Schmid at right back while Andre Hahn came in to replace the injured Marco Richter (muscle problems). Fredrik Jensen was included in the FCA matchday squad for the first time since his arrival at the club this summer. Jensen has missed the first few weeks of the season with an ankle injury but was on the bench in Dortmund.
FC Augsburg began the match as the stronger side, approaching the match with courage against the Bundesliga leaders. Dortmund were put under a lot of pressure in the opening minutes as FCA won their first corner of the match. This ultimately came to nothing (3’). FCA created their first major chance of the afternoon in the 9th minute as Andre Hahn was able to create some space before being denied by Roman Bürki. At the other end, Marco Reus created a clear opportunity to give the hosts the lead, but he could only blaze his shot over the bar after creating space in the penalty box and getting on the end of a Jadon Sancho pass (15’).
Finnbogason beats Bürki to open the scoring
Shortly after the Reus opportunity, FCA were appealing for a penalty after it appeared that Dan-Axel Zagadou had fouled Michael Gregoritsch in the penalty box. Referee Markus Schmidt waved away these appeals and play continued (16’). However, in the 22nd minute, it was the visitors who were rewarded for their early pressure on the Dortmund and FCA took the. After a Philipp Max free-kick, the ball broke free in the penalty box and Alfred Finnbogason was there to slot the ball underneath the onrushing Bürki. Dortmund were quick to respond to falling behind, increasing their intensity and becoming more dangerous in front of goal. Andreas Luthe was forced into action in the FCA net to deny Achraf Hakimi (24’). Despite taking the lead, FCA chose not to sit back and invite pressure, instead making it difficult for Dortmund to settle and assert any dominance. Augsburg failed to create any more clear-cut chances in the remainder of the first half, while Maximilian Philipp went close for the home side in the 34th minute. At half-time, FCA narrowly led 1-0.
Alcacer equalises – Max restores FCA advantage
In the opening stages of the second half, FC Augsburg continued to press forwards and created two good chances to double their lead. The first chance fell to Gregoritsch who had a shot saved by Bürki before Jeffrey Gouweleeuw was unable to score from close range (49’). Dortmund then started to push forward and FCA were unable to get out of their own half. The equaliser for Dortmund followed soon after as Jadon Sancho was able to find space on the right wing and his cross was poked home by substitute Paco Alcacer in the penalty box (62’).
Straight from kick-off, Finnbogason had a chance to immediately restore FCA’s lead but his attempt crashed against the crossbar (63’). The game quickly developed into an open contest with both teams trying to seize the initiative and find the crucial third goal. Manuel Akanji thought he had scored with a header in the 69th minute but Gregoritsch came to FCA’s rescue with a goal line clearance. Caiuby then broke clear into the penalty box after an Augsburg counter attack but he was unable to find the net (70’). However, just a minute later, FCA were back in front as a Framberger cross eventually fell to Philipp Max who fired the ball into the back of the net from close range (71’)
Incredible end to the match – Alcacer’s final blow
As the match started to approach the final ten minutes, FCA still lead 2-1 and the pressure was growing from the hosts as they searched for the equaliser. Dortmund drew level in the 80th minute as Alcacer made the most of a quickly taken free kick before substitute Mario Götze gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the match just four minutes later. The drama wasn’t over yet as FCA showed great moral and desire as they went in search of an equaliser. The visitors were rewarded for their pressure in the 87th minute as Gregoritsch rose highest to score with a header after a corner. This left the match at 3-3 going into stoppage time.
Dortmund were in full control as the two teams entered stoppage time and they won a free-kick in a dangerous position after six additional minutes. Alcacer converted to complete his hat-trick and to steal all three points from FCA, who had fully deserved to take something out of the match.
FCA return to action in two weeks time after the international break when they host RB Leipzig on a retro matchday to celebrate 111 years of the club. The match will take place in the WWK ARENA on Saturday, 20th October (15:30 CEST).