Niederlechner scores for FCA
FC Augsburg suffered defeat away at VfB Stuttgart in head coach Markus Weinzierl’s first match in charge since returning to the club. Despite a promising performance, FCA lost 2-1 to the Swabians, having managed an equaliser after an early set-back.
Markus Weinzierl made five changes to the line-up following the 3-2 loss to 1. FC Köln two weeks ago. Robert Gumny, Jan Morávek, a newly fit Rani Khedira, Marco Richter and Florian Niederlechner all came into the team in place of Raphael Framberger, Tobias Strobl and Daniel Caligiuri (subs), while Carlos Gruezo (muscle problems) and Alfred Finnbogason (patellar tendon issues) both missed out through injury.
It didn’t take long for the two sides to test each other, as Ruben Vargas headed just wide two minutes in, before Roberto Massimo forced Rafał Gikiewicz into making a save (3’). Gikiewicz would be beaten minutes later as Sasa Kalajdzic laid off a cross to Philipp Förster whose shot was deflected in by Gumny (11’).
FCA recovered from the early setback by going back on the attack. Niederlechner headed just wide, before Khedira had an attempt saved by VfB keeper Fabian Bredlow (19’). Despite Stuttgart dictating the pace, it was FCA who continued to break through on goal, especially on the counter. Saves from Bredlow denied Richter (26’, 45’) and Vargas (38’) to ensure the visitors went into the break with a narrow lead.
The hosts started well after the break, with Bredlow forced to make a save following a shot from Reece Oxford (52’). Gikiewicz then came up with a stop to deny Kalajdzic, tipping his attempt onto the post (56’). The goalkeeper then kickstarted a quick counter-attack for his side, as Richter redirected Iago’s cross into the path of Niederlechner, who needed only to poke home from close range to draw level (59’).
With the deficit erased, FCA continued to push for a second. Richter was denied yet again by Bredlow (65’), as the visitors recorded chances of their own. Former Augsburg man Erik Thommy had an attempt saved by Gikiewicz (70’), but it would be VfB who would regain their lead just minutes later. Förster’s cross was met by Kalajdzic at the near post, who headed home from close range to put VfB 2-1 up in the 74th minute. FCA then nearly conceded a third, as Gikiewicz came up big to deny Förster (80’). Despite throwing everything into mounting another attack, FCA were limited to just a single shot by Caligiuri (90+2’) in the closing stages.
Despite a strong performance, FCA fell to a 2-1 defeat in Weinzierl’s first game back at the club. Next Saturday (15th May, 15:30 CEST), FCA will host SV Werder Bremen in their final home game of the season.