Hahn strike decides the match
FC Augsburg picked up an important three points in the fight against relegation on Sunday. The Fuggerstädter celebrated a 1-0 win away to 1. FSV Mainz 05, increasing the gap to the relegation zone and building on a strong record against the hosts.
Augsburg head coach Heiko Herrlich made one change from the 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. André Hahn, who scored a brace in the 3-1 home win against the Zerofivers earlier this season, replaced Ruben Vargas.
Augsburg started the game with intent on a rough pitch. Barely two minutes into the game, Florian Niederlechner got on the end of a corner routine but saw his effort blocked (2’). Mainz started to find their feet as the game wore on and Rafał Gikiewicz was called into action to keep out a shot from Danny Latza (15’). At the other end, we managed to grab the lead with a little help from the hosts. Goalkeeper Robin Zentner passed the ball straight to Niederlechner while trying to play out from the back and the striker played a square ball for Hahn to score into an empty net (25’). It was the second time in as many weeks that Augsburg have benefitted from a goalkeeper’s mistake.
The Zerofivers didn’t seem deterred by the setback and kept looking for a way towards goal. FCA stood firm defensively, though, and let hardly anything get past the back line. Mainz nad to wait until shortly before half-time for another dangerous attack; it was Latza again who tested the ‘keeper, but again Gikiewicz came out on top (39’).
Augsburg got off to a fast start in the second half, creating good opportunities to extend the lead early on. First Niederlechner shot at Zentner from a tight angle (50’) before the striker hit an effort at his own teammate, Felix Uduokhai (51’). Mainz struggled to get forward in the opening exchanges of the half.
The Fuggerstädter sat back a little as the half progressed, but didn’t allow any chances for large stretches of the game. The game was entering the final ten minutes when Gikiewicz made his first save of the half to deny Jean-Paul Boetius (79’). Hahn could have put the game to bed late on but could only hit the post (85’). Onisiwo also hit the woodwork at the other end to give Augsburg a late scare (87’) before Gikiewicz denied Mainz once more (88’) to preserve a precious 1-0 win for Augsburg.
The three points have extended our lead over Mainz and the relegation places to nine points. It is also Augsburg’s fifth consecutive win over the Zerofivers. On Saturday (6th March, 15:30 CET) we face Hertha BSC in Berlin.