FCA missed out on getting their third win in a row. In a fierce match at FC Köln with two sending-offs, Augsburg had to settle for a point. FCA had led the game for a long time, but ultimately Köln were rewarded for a strong effort in the closing stages.
After his side’s 4-0 win against Hertha Berlin last time out, Martin Schmidt made one change to the side: Andre Hahn, who scored his first goal of the season against Hertha, started in place of Marco Richter. The forward, who was taken off injured against Hertha, took Hahn’s place on the bench.
Köln began their first home game under new head coach Markus Gisdol strongly, and after only five minutes Simon Terodde was denied by Tomas Koubek. At the other end of the pitch, FCA had a huge chance to take the lead when Rafael Czichos tripped Florian Niederlechner in the Köln penalty area and referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the spot. Hahn stepped up to take the penalty, but was denied by Timo Horn (9’). The hosts also boasted considerably more possession, but apart from a speculative effort from Birger Verstraete (15’) had no chances of note.
FCA sat deep and allowed few chances, but lost the ball too quickly after winning possession. In a counter-attack, Ruben Vargas got a chance to give Augsburg the lead, but the Swiss missed (27’). Although Schmidt was forced into a change early on in the second half (Stephan Lichtsteiner for the struggling Raphael Framberger) FCA began to assert themselves in the game. Augsburg played much higher up the park, constantly looked to play the ball forward, and just before the break they were a man up. The already-carded Czichos committed a tactical foul on the halfway line and received a second yellow to reduce the hosts to ten men (39’).
Suddenly drama came thick and fast: A cross from the right found Philipp Max, who set up Florian Niederlechner with a delicious pass that his teammate was only too happy to tap into the Köln net for his sixth goal of the season (43’). Only a minute later, Andre Hahn received a second yellow card, and both sides went into the second half ten against ten.
Köln came out of the dressing room with a fresh impetus and, as they had done in the half before, came out of the blocks with a great chance to score. Sebastiaan Bornauw headed over from close range following a corner (50’). Up the other end, Horn had to stretch to tip over a deflected long range effort from Ruben Vargas (54’). Both teams were too inaccurate in the game and could not use the space they created within the game effectively.
So it was until the 71st minute, before there was sudden danger. First, Koubek, who was barely tested previously, palmed a Florian Kainz volley onto the post, and shortly thereafter Terodde headed an effort at the crossbar (71’) . The hosts attempted to tighten the screw, and Jhon Cordoba, who fired two efforts at Koubek, was unsuccessful (74’/82’), as was Terodde (82’). There was not a great deal of action from an FCA perspective, apart from Ruben Vargas missing a free header from a corner (78’). After a long wait, finally the hosts were rewarded for their attacking intent, as Cordoba danced through the defence, rounded Koubek and fired the equalizer into an empty net.
So Augsburg must settle for a point in the end. On Saturday 7th December (15:30 CET) FCA will meet Mainz 05 in the penultimate home game of the year.