Demirović sent off for FCA
It looked for a long time that FC Augsburg would record their fifth consecutive home win in the Bundesliga. However, FC Schalke 04 converted an injury-time penalty to rescue themselves a point on matchday 25.
FCA coach Enrico Maaßen made three changes to the team that lost 5-3 at FC Bayern last time out. Ruben Vargas, Iago and Elvis Rexhbecaj all came into the side after coming off the bench and impressing in Munich.
It was an entertaining start to the game at the WWK Arena, which was sold out once again. FC Augsburg had the first chance after 54 seconds via Mergim Berisha. The striker, called up for Germany’s senior side this week for the first time, headed over the bar.
It was a physical clash and that resulted in two early yellow cards for Schalke players. The best chance in the first half for the Fuggerstädter was when Elvis Rexhbecaj took aim from just outside the area. His effort, destined for the bottom corner, was pushed wide by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann (23’). He had also saved a Vargas header five minutes prior to this, while Rafał Gikiewicz was on hand to keep out a Marius Bülter strike at the other end (19’).
Maaßen’s side had over 60% possession after half an hour, while his opposite number Thomas Reis made an early change to avoid a potential second yellow card for Éder Balanta (35’). He was replaced by Rodrigo Zalazar.
Renato Veiga came on for the injured Maximilian Bauer for the start of the second half. He played alongside captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw at centre-back. The first shot of the second period opened the scoring for FCA. Arne Maier won the ball after a loose pass from Fährmann and gave it to Ermedin Demirović. He played it back to Maier and he beat Fährmann with a near-post shot (51’). Just two minutes later though, Demirović accidentally caught Tom Krauß in the face with his studs and was sent off.
It was now clear that the aim would be to just hold on for the three points with a man down. Schalke kept whipping in crosses, but Gikiewicz was dominant in the air. Rexhbecaj collided with S04 right-back Cedric Brunner and they were both forced off. This was the start of some eventual few minutes at the end of this clash. Substitute Simon Terodde failed to get his shot on target from a decent position as Schalke threw the kitchen sink at FCA (82’).
As time started to run out for the visitors, they were awarded a penalty in the first minute of injury time. Terodde was caught by Gouweleeuw in the box and Daniel Schlager pointed to the spot. Marius Bülter converted to level the score (90+3’). Despite Schalke pushing for a winner, the Fuggerstädter held on for a point, one that keeps a sizeable gap between the two sides in the table.
The draw has seen Augsburg move up to 12th in the table on 28 points. FCA’s next game is away against Wolfsburg, following next week’s international break.