FC Augsburg’s winter training camp in Alicante has drawn to a close with two 60 minute friendlies against Royal Antwerp. FCA secured a 3-0 win in the opening friendly before a very youthful side fell to a last-gasp 1-0 defeat in the second friendly.
Friendly 1: FC Augsburg 3-0 Royal Antwerp
FCA head coach Manuel Baum named a strong starting lineup for the opening friendly, but was unable to call upon Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Sergio Córdova, Rani Khedira and Felix Götze. All four players missed the match to rest after suffering injuries. At the last minute, both Daniel Baier (illness) and Marco Richter (Achilles problem) also missed the match. The match time was split among the remaining FCA players who were fit to play.
FCA made the better start in the opening match as Alfred Finnbogason created chance for Fredrik Jensen in the first minute. However, the Finnish midfielder was unable to poke the ball home. After around ten minutes, Kostas Stafylidis fired a free-kick narrowly wide of the goal but Royal Antwerp came back into the match after 15 minutes. The Belgians created two good chances to open the scoring but on both occasions, new FCA goalkeeper Gregor Kobel was on hand to keep the scores level. The Belgians did eventually force the ball into the back of the Augsburg net but the goal was disallowed for a handball.
After a change of ends, FCA once again made the better start. André Hahn thought he had given Augsburg the breakthrough but his goal was disallowed for offside (33’). Hahn created another chance two minutes later but he wasn’t able to make the most of good build up play by Finnbogason.
However, the Icelandic striker was able to open the scoring in the 44th minute. A clever long ball from Martin Hinteregger unlocked the Antwerp defence and Finnbogason ran through to open the scoring.
FCA controlled the rest of the opening friendly and were able to add to their lead in the closing stages. Kevin Danso got on the end of a Jonathan Schmid corner and the Austrian’s header was deflected into his own net by Antwerp defendr Jelle van Damme (56’). However, this wasn’t enough for Augsburg, who added to their lead just a minute later. Finnbogason got on the end of a one-two with Michael Gregoritsch to seal an impressive victory.
Friendly 2: FC Augsburg 0-1 Royal Antwerp
Ahead of the second friendly, Manuel Baum practically changed the entire starting lineup. As a result of Baier and Richter both pulling out at the last minute, Danso and Jensen played on in the second friendly. Fabian Giefer played in goal while Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker wore the captain’s armband.
Giefer was forced into action after just 12 minutes, saving a well struck free-kick from 25 metres out. FCA also created a good chance as Jensen played in Georg Teigl and his shot fell just wide of the near post. Apart from these chances, there was little action in front of goal in the opening stages of the second friendly.
There was a special moment in the second half, after Christoph Janker came on to replace Jensen and Danso. Andreas Luthe also came on to play in goal and Giefer played outfield alongside Teigl in attack. Giefer wore the number 30 shirt, as Caiuby is still in Brazil.
In the closing 30 minutes, as the sun began to set on Alicante and the FCA training camp, the Belgians grew more into the match and forced the youthful Augsburg side further back in defence. A Antwerp striker created space for a shot in the 43rd minute but was denied by Luthe.
In the final seconds of the friendly, Antoine Bernier scored a fortunate winner for Royal Antwerp as Augsburg lost the second friendly despite a gutsy performance.
Overall, FC Augsburg won 3-1 on aggregate and will travel back to Augsburg tomorrow.