Hahn and Dorsch on the scoresheet in Cologne
FC Augsburg secured their first away victory of 2021/22 on Friday evening with a 2-0 win against 1. FC Köln on Friday night as they began a busy period of matches. FCA conceded few chances in a closely-fought encounter and were ice-cold in front of goal to put themselves on the road to victory.
Head coach Markus Weinzierl made four changes to the team that lost 3-2 to VfL Bochum last weekend. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, who had come out of quarantine, and Reece Oxford, who overcame a muscle injury, were brought back into the starting XI alongside Jan Morávek and Michael Gregoritsch, the latter having scored twice in FCA’s last two games. Frederik Winther and Raphael Framberger were named on the bench this time, and Arne Maier (bronchitis) and Andi Zeqiri (hip) missed the game entirely.
Both teams decided against a slow opening period and went looking for an opener straight away. An early Sebastian Andersson header flew just over in the 2nd minute, whilst André Hahn tested Köln keeper Marvin Schwäbe just two minutes later (4’). The hosts saw more of the ball in the opening exchanges, but were fortunate that Gregoritsch was fractionally offside when he thought he had opened the scoring for FCA (12’).
The Billy Goats continued to press FCA high up the pitch, though Rafał Gikiewicz was rarely called upon. Augsburg were more threatening at the other end through Vargas, who came close to breaking the deadlock twice. Initially, the Swiss attacker put one just past the far post (24’), before his curling effort narrowly went over the bar (29’).
Köln enjoyed the better start to the second half, coming out of the traps with some real momentum. Gikiewicz was on hand to keep Modeste out twice early on (49’, 51’), while Hahn couldn’t beat Schwäbe for FCA (53’). Following this phase, FCA were able to keep Effzeh away from their goal more easily. Reece Oxford made an important block from a Benno Schmitz shot in the 60th minute.
As the game went somewhat flat in the middle of the second half, Augsburg were clinical and took the lead. Niklas Dorsch won possession back and then played a through ball to Vargas. His cross was only parried by Schwäbe, and Hahn was in the right place to stab the ball over the line (72’). Despite upping the tempo and putting the pressure back on the guests, Köln couldn’t create any noteworthy chances to find an equaliser. Instead, Dorsch sealed the win with a stunning, dipping strike from 25 yards out into the top corner (88’).
Thanks to those two second-half goals, FCA were able to celebrate their first away win since the end of February (1-0 in Mainz). RB Leipzig will visit the WWK Arena on Wednesday (15th December, 20:30 CET) for the final home game of 2021.