Third victory on the road this season
FC Augsburg secured a vital win in their quest for survival against VfL Bochum on Sunday evening. The 2-0 victory was underpinned by a strong defensive display, with the goals coming from André Hahn and Michael Gregoritsch.
Markus Weinzierl made three changes from the side that faced Hertha BSC last time out. Carlos Gruezo, Ruben Vargas and the recovered Daniel Caligiuri came in for Arne Maier (back problems), Mads Pedersen and Alfred Finnbogason. Florian Niederlechner and Felix Uduokhai also returned to the squad.
FCA made a confident start to the contest and caused problems in Bochum’s penalty area with only three minutes on the clock, when André Hahn looked to get on the end of an Iago cross. VfL captain Antony Losilla, however, managed to clear his lines and avert the danger before it reached Hahn. Just two minutes later, the hosts carved out an opportunity for themselves, when Christian Gamboa picked out teammate Takuma Asano with a cross from the right hand side. The Japanese forward couldn’t quite get on the end of it and the scores remained level (5’).
After just a quarter of an hour, Augsburg were rewarded for their bright start to the game. VfL defender Maxim Leitsch was forced into a mistake by André Hahn, who got on the end of a weak header, intended for goalkeeper Manuel Riemann. The FCA forward held his nerve and lifted the ball over Riemann to put the visitors in front. Hahn nearly scored a second just three minutes later, but his effort from close range was cleared for a corner. The Fuggerstädter remained resolute at the back and didn’t allow their opponents to create anything clear-cut. Weinzierl’s side remained dangerous in Bochum’s penalty area. Reece Oxford had a headed chance in the 25th minute, which he put over the bar.
Augsburg’s pressing continuously caused problems for the hosts. Carlos Gruezo almost took advantage of this after 29 minutes, hitting his shot over the bar. FCA were then able to increase their lead before the break. Danilo Soares fouled Daniel Caligiuri in the box and referee Bastian Dankert pointed to the spot. Michael Gregoritsch stepped up and calmly buried the penalty to make it 2-0 (43’).
Jeffrey Gouweleeuw had an opportunity to make it 3-0 from a corner at the start of the second half, though his shot from a narrow angle was kept out by Riemann (48’). The hosts pushed hard for a way back into the game, but FCA were strong at the back and didn’t allow them many chances. Bochum’s pressure late on earned them more dangerous moments. First, Oxford made a last-ditch block (74’) and then Rafal Gikiewicz tipped a free-kick from Eduard Löwen past the post (77’).
Substitute Mads Pedersen played a ball to Caligiuri on a counter-attack with four minutes to play, but the Italian was denied by Riemann’s legs (86’). Niklas Dorsch then gave it to another substitute, Florian Niederlechner, who shot wide. FCA saw out the game without conceding to secure their third away win of the season.
Augsburg are now 14th in the table and are nine points clear of the automatic relegation places with three games to play. Up next is a home game against 1. FC Köln on Saturday, 30th April at 15:30 CEST.