The year 2019 is coming to an end – a good time to take a look at twelve exciting and emotional months full of ups and downs. Looking back at November: the first away win of the season, a win with two causes for celebration, and the beginning of a run of good form.
At the start of November, Augsburg lost against Schalke in a game that could not have been more bitter. The team had shown their best performance of the season to date and took the lead twice thanks to Daniel Baier and Alfred Finnbogason. But the Royal Blues came back twice via set pieces and completely turned the game around in the final minutes. While their competition near the bottom of the table continued to pick up positive results, this loss meant that Augsburg were without a win in their last six games.
The pressure before the six-pointer at SC Paderborn was huge – but the team overcame it and won 1-0 against the newly-promoted side. Tomáš Koubek saved a penalty after just a few minutes and shortly before the break Philipp Max scored a free–kick. At the final whistle, the team celebrated their first away win since Martin Schmidt’s debut in April (3-1 in Frankfurt). “This result will give us greater confidence for the next few weeks,” said match-winner Koubek.
The subsequent international break for some FCA players was also successful. Fredrik Jensen and Finland qualified for a European Championship for the first time and Michael Gregoritsch (Austria), Tin Jedvaj (Croatia) as well as Stephan Lichtsteiner and Ruben Vargas (both Switzerland) also helped their sides to qualify.
Two reasons for celebration and a big win against Hertha
Koubek’s words after the match against Hertha BSC proved prophetic as an FCA team brimming with confidence took on the visitors to the WWK-ARENA. As he had done in the last game, Philipp Max scored a direct free kick, which was also the 200th home goal in the Bundesliga for FCA. Because Sergio Cordova, Andre Hahn and Florian Niederlechner also scored to pile on the misery for Hertha, the final result was a 4-0 win, which was also FCA’s 50th home win in the Bundesliga. “We have started a small trend,” said a delighted Schmidt, after his side picked up their second win in a row and also got their third clean sheet in their last four matches.
The next match against a direct league rival was in Cologne, in which FCA just missed out on a third win in a row. Niederlechner scored shortly before the break, but in the last few minutes Köln were rewarded for their tenacity and brought the score level, resulting in a 1-1 draw. By the end of the match, both sides were playing with ten men, as Andre Hahn, who earlier missed the chance to give FCA the lead with a penalty kick, was sent off for a second yellow. He was joined off the pitch by Köln’s Czichos, who also picked up two yellow cards.