FC Augsburg have secured Bundesliga survival after getting a 1-1 draw against Fortuna Düsseldorf, and will play Bundesliga football once more next season.
Three days after the 3-1 defeat against TSG Hoffenheim, head coach Heiko Herrlich made six changes to the starting lineup. Raphael Framberger, Felix Uduokhai, Rani Khedira, Noah Sarenren Bazee, Marco Richter and Florian Niederlecher were in the starting lineup. Stephan Lichtsteiner, Marek Suchý, Daniel Baier, Eduard Löwen and Alfred Finnbogason took their places on the bench. Tin Jedvaj was suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards. The importance of the game was evident from the start. Both teams attacked their opponents aggressively and both threw themselves forward after winning possession, After only six minuts, Rouwen Hennings appeared to head Fortuna in front from a free-kick, but referee Daniel Siebert disallowed the goal due to a handball in the build-up,
Niederlechner scores the opener – Hennings equalises.
Augsburg took advantage of this decision to go up the other end and score. Philipp Max sent Niederlechner through on goal, when he turned two defenders before firing in to put FCA 1-0 up (10’). Fortuna were initially caught cold by this goal, but regrouped quickly. Uduokhai blocked a shot from Erik Thommy fifteen minutes in, but the hosts would succeed in finding the net ten minutes later. Rouwen Hennings carved himself some space on the edge of the area and curled the equaliser into the far corner to tie the scores at 1-1. (25’)
FCA withdrew after scoring, and focused more on the defensive aspect of the game, often losing the ball on the offense. An exception was Ruben Vargas, who fired a tame effort at goal when he really should have put his foot through it (32’). The largely stable FCA were able to prevent Fortuna from creating any more chances before the break, despite the hosts’ desire to avoid relegation.
Niederlechner again and again – FCA unable to get the win
FCA started the second half on the front foot, who were more determined to score than they had been in the first half. After a lofted pass from Max, Niederlechner found himself one-on-one with Fortuna GK Florian Kastenmeier, but put his shot wide from close range (52’). Shortly afterwards, the spotlight was again on the FCA attacker, after he went down in the penalty area under Niko Gießelmann’s challenge – but Siebert waved play on (54’). Die Fuggerstädter continued to put their opponents under pressure, and almost went ahead through Vargas, but Kastenmeier pushed his effort onto the post (55’).
FCA were stable out of possession, but Fortuna went close when Kaan Ayhan was free in the area from a corner and only barely missed the ball (69’). Up the other end of the pitch, Niederlechner headed over after Andre Hahn’s effort bounced back off the crossbar (71’). In the closing stages, it was Düsseldorf who cranked up the pressure, but didn’t actually create any notable chances for the rest of the match, and as FCA were set up to keep them at bay, the match ended 1-1.
The draw was enough for FCA to secure Bundesliga survival with one matchday to spare. On the final day of the season FCA take on RB Leipzig on Saturday 27th June at 15:30 CEST.