In their first Bundesliga match of 2019, FC Augsburg have fallen to a late 2-1 home defeat against Fortuna Düsseldorf. After trailing 1-0 at half-time, FCA equalised half-way through the second half before Fortuna scored a 90th minute winner. FCA were unable to hold on and start 2019 with a defeat.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum was missing several players for the Düsseldorf match. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, who signed a contract extension this week, missed the match with a groin suspension while Rani Khedira was suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Wolfsburg. Ja-Cheol Koo and Dong-Won Ji were both on international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup. New signing Gregor Kobel made his FCA debut in goal while Kevin Danso and Jan Moravek played in the absence of Gouweleeuw and Khedira. Jonathan Schmid played in a new attacking role on the left wing in front of Philipp Max.
The home side made the stronger start as they forced Fortuna back into their own half. Augsburg enjoyed a lot of success down each of the flanks in the opening stages. However, they lacked the precision in front of goal to take the lead. In the 13th minute, Daniel Baier fired a shot onto the post after good build up play from Alfred Finnbogason. Moments later, Moravek headed straight at Fortuna Düsseldorf goalkeeper Michael Rensing (18’).
As the match progressed, Düsseldorf came back into the match and it became an even contest. Augsburg were forced back into their own half as Marvin Ducksch went close in the 27th minute. Much of play took place in the middle third as neither side were able to control the match. Towards the end of the half, FCA pushed forward once more as Schmid fired a long distance shot wide (39’). However, out of nothing, Fortuna took the lead on the stroke of half-time. Ducksch got on the end of a Dodie Lukebakio cross and fired a free header home to give the visitors a half-time lead (45’).
Schmid equalises from free-kick – Raman stuns the WWK ARENA late on
FCA were not put off by the deficit and came out more attackingly in the second half. However, until the 60th minute, the hosts were not posing too many threats for Rensing in the Düsseldorf goal. Then, Michael Gregoritsch got on the end of a corner and only a goal line clearance from Kevin Stöger prevented the Austrian from celebrating an equaliser. A few minutes later, Augsburg deservedly equalised. Schmid fired a free-kick from 25 metres out towards goal and Rensing was unable to stop the ball going over the line. The equaliser was given by goal line technology (64’).
After losing their lead, Düsseldorf started to attack once again as Niko Gießelmann blazed an attempt over the bar (73’). Four minutes later, the visitor hit Augsburg on the counter and Benito Raman was inches away from restoring Düsseldorf’s lead. FCA sat back a little after equalising and didn’t create many chances to win the match. There was an exception in the 81st minute as Finnbogason broke clear of the Fortuna defence. However, the Icelandic striker was denied a shot on goal by a last gasp tackle by the onrushing Fortuna defence. Just as the match looked like it was heading for a draw, Fortuna stole all three points. Raman got on the end of long diagonal ball and struck the ball past Kobel to give the visitors the victory.
FC Augsburg fell to a disappointing late defeat in their opening match of 2019. FCA return to action next weekend as they travel to Borussia Mönchengladbach (Saturday, 26th January. 15:30 CET).