FC Augsburg kicked off their second half of the Bundesliga season with a 2-1 victory at VfL Wolfsburg. The Swabians found themselves behind after an early goal from Mario Gomez but Halil Altintop and Dominik Kohr turned the match around for Augsburg.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum made four changes in the starting XI against Wolfsburg. Raphael Framberger, Halil Altintop, Takashi Usami and Raúl Bobadilla, back from injury, all started the match ahead of Paul Verhaegh and Jonathan Schmid, who were both out with a flu, and Daniel Baier and Konstantinos Stafylidis, out with an Achilles problem and a suspension for too many yellow cards respectively.
Augsburg suffered an early setback, going behind after a Yunus Malli cross found Mario Gomez, who despite standing in an offside position put the Wolves ahead with just four minutes on the clock. FCA had their first decent chance in the 14th minute, with Ja-Cheol Koo curling a fine effort that forced a save from Diego Benaglio in the Wolfsburg goal. Raúl Bobadilla tried his luck shortly afterwards but also found the Swiss keeper in his way. The Fuggerstädter only continued to grow into the game and netted the equaliser in the 25th minute after a poor back-pass from Luiz Gustavo caused Benaglio to gift an opportunity to Halil Altintop, who headed in to make it 1-1.
FCA were on the front foot after getting back on level terms and Bobadilla tested Benaglio once again, who prevented Wolfsburg from going behind with a strong save. Augsburg continued to exploit the hosts’ defensive frailties and Bobadilla saw his effort from 20 metres out flash just wide of the VfL post. However the home side still created chances of their own and Raphael Framberger had to step in at the last minute to prevent a Wolfsburg goal after a defensive error beforehand. One sour note in the game was the forced substitution of Jan Moravek before the break due to injury. The Czech man was replaced by Dominik Kohr as the teams headed into the dressing room at half-time with the score all square.
Wolfsburg pressed for that second goal right from the start of the second half. Marwin Hitz was made to stretch in the 46th minute to keep out Mario Gomez’s deflected strike. The away side continued to find themselves under increasing pressure and were being forced back further into their own half. Hitz continued to be in solid form though, preventing Vierinha from giving the hosts the lead with a fine save.
However FCA were gradually able to reduce the pressure upon them but things were still a bit here and there at the Volkswagen Arena. Then came the 69th minute, when Framberger did well to get down the right-hand side, whip a ball into the box for substitute Dominik Kohr to hit home from five metres out. 2-1 to FCA. Once Augsburg had taken the lead, they controlled the game and Wolfsburg barely threatened. Joshua Guilavogui did connect with a header but saw his effort fly over the FCA crossbar.
Georg Teigl found himself in a great position shortly before the end but he could not hit it cleanly to score the goal that would have made victory absolutely certain. It did not matter though as it stayed 2-1 to Augsburg and Baum’s team will travel back to Bavaria with all three points.