FC Augsburg picked up their second win in a row on Sunday afternoon against Hertha Berlin. FCA dominated for most of the game, winning 4-0 in the end, picking up their second home win of the season, and at the same time breaking two club records.
Before the international break, FCA had celebrated a 1-0 win away against SC Paderborn. Martin Schmidt made two changes to the side that picked up that win for the match against Hertha. Both Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Sergio Cordova celebrated making their first starts this season. Felix Uduokhai (scar) took a place on the bench, while Alfred Finnbogason (shoulder injury) is out until after the winter break.
In the evenly-matched opening stages, bpth teams sought to press the opponents early and made good attacking runs. However, after little goalmouth action early on, FCA took the lead with their first real chance. Philipp Max crossed a free kick into the box close to the right-hand touchline, and the ball sailed past both his teammates and the goalkeeper to go straight into the far corner to give the home side the lead in the 17th minute. Max’s second free-kick goal in two games was also Augsburg’s 200th home goal in the Bundesliga.
The joy of taking the lead was dampened slightly when birthday boy Marco Richter was taken off injured, to be replaced by Andre Hahn, but the FCA fans had reasons to celebrate just a minute later,when Florian Niederlechner pressured the goalkeeper and found Sergio Cordova, who slotted into an empty net (27’). But this drama was not yet over. Jarstein had fouled both Niederlechner and Cordova before the second goal, and was shown a straight red in the aftermath of the Augsburg celebrations. Replacement goalkeeper Dennis Schmarsch came on to make his Bundesliga debut, and Niederlechner luckily continued playing.
With the man advantage and a comfortable lead in the bag, Augsburg gave a lot more of the ball to Hertha, but made sure not to lose focus. A header from Davie Selke (45’) was powered just wide. At the other end of the pitch, Ruben Vargas (34’) and Cordova (38’) narrowly missed chances to increase Augsburg’s lead.
After the break, FCA once more increased the pressure – and were rewarded for their efforts early. Hahn moved in from the right side, dribbled his way through the static Hertha defence, and passed it into the bottom corner of the visitor’s net (52’). Only four minutes later, the winger almost got a brace, but after a good run he blazed over the bar and the motionless Smarsch. Augsburg played well in the opening stages of the second half but continued to lack the final touch, as Vargas missed twice (60’, 62’).
After the goal, the game quietened a bit, as FCA sought to preserve their lead and kicked back a gear. Nevertheless, Augsburg kept making chances. The long range shots of Dani Baier (74’) and Max (78’) lacked accuracy, however. Hertha unsurprisingly struggled, and were not dangerous until Dedryck Boyata’s shot in the 72nd minute. At the other end, Niederlechner finally put the game to bed after he took down a free kick from Max almost on the goal line and hammered a shot from a tight angle into the far top corner (79’). The strike was Niederlechner’s fifth of the season and sealed a 4-0 win for the hosts.
So FCA finally celebrate their 50th home win in the Bundesliga. On Saturday, 30th November, (15:30 CET) they travel to FC. Köln.