FC Augsburg contested their first friendly of the pre-season this afternoon in Mals, South Tyrol. Manuel Baum’s team had to settle for a 1-1 draw with second division Austria Lustenau.
The squad have been hard at work for just over a week at their training camp in Mals. The end is in sight as FCA are set to return to Augsburg on Monday after their first friendly. Baum was keen to see the intensity in training translate onto the pitch.
New signing Julian Schieber got his first run-out in an FCA shirt, on this occasion only in last season’s black and grey kit. The new FCA strip for 2018/19 will be on display at the first friendly in Augsburg next Saturday, 14th July, in the Rosenausstadion against Würzburger Kickers. Alongside Julian Schieber, fellow new signing Andre Hahn made the starting XI. Other new boys Fredrik Jensen and Felix Götze got their debuts after the break.
It took a few minutes for the game to warm up, but there were still chances to be had. Marco Richter steered a Michael Gregoritsch cross into the post (18’). “Gregerl” then went for goal himself, missing high (20’) and wide (26’) from the edge of the box.
The Austrians’ first chance fell for William Rodrigues de Freitas, yet Fabian Giefer kept him out superbly (27’). Gregoritsch couldn’t hit the target for a third time (30’) before the inevitable happened. After a free kick from the wing, Lustenau scored with only their second shot of the game. Giefer had no chance against Firat Tuncer’s effort in the 32nd minute.
Marco Richter decided to fight fire with fire, but his shot scampered just wide of the goal (33’). After Julian Schieber failed to convert a cross from Philipp Max, FCA went into the break 1-0 down.
During his half time interview and Q&A, Stefan Reuter praised the Obervinschgau area and thanked all those who helped ensure the conditions were once again fantastic. “The heavy training has certainly taken its toll on our football”, said the 1990 World Champion. “It’s a typical friendly. Nevertheless, I hope that we can pull it together in the next 45 minutes and rustle up a goal or two.”
FCA completely changed their line-up for the second half. Only Konstantinos Stafylidis, Marcel Heller, Raphael Framberger and Romario Rösch were missing from the squad due to minor injuries or for rest purposes.
Augsburg came out of the blocks quickly after the restart. After two good chances from Maurice Malone and Christoph Janker, Sergio Cordova was put through on goal by Simon Asta and scored the equaliser in the 54th minute. Lustenau should have taken the lead once again just six minute later as then referee awarded them a penalty thanks to a Jozo Stanic handball. However, Sandro Djuric fired the ball over the crossbar from the spot.
FCA had their fair share of chances, too. Felix Götze had his long shot saved (65’) before Simon Asta’s effort whistled just wide of the post (70’).
In the final phase of the game, the Red-Green-Whites kept knocking at the door yet couldn’t find a gap in the Austrian defence. Stefan Reuter’s half time wish was only partly fulfilled. At least they still scored one.
FCA (first half): Giefer – Max, Callsen-Bracker, Gouweleeuw, Schmid – Richter, Khedira, Gregoritsch, Baier, Hahn – Schieber
FCA (second half): Luthe – Rieder, Janker, Stanic, Asta – Malone, Movarek, Ji, Götze, Jensen – Cordova
Goals: 1-0 Firat Tuncer (32’), 1-1 Cordova (54’)