Caliguiri scores on his debut, Jensen nets brace
FCA advanced into the second round of the DFB-Pokal on Saturday afternoon. A focused display from the Fuggerstädter ended with a commanding 7-0 victory over MTV Eintracht Celle. The match saw one of Augsburg’s new signings netting on his debut and two goals from substitutes.
Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich started two new signings in the first competitive match of the new season. Rafał Gikiewicz, who signed from 1. FC Union Berlin, and Daniel Caligiuri, from FC Schalke 04, started in goal and on the right wing respectively. Michael Gregoritsch played in central midfield following his return from his period on loan at Schalke during the second half of last season.
Right from the start of the match, FCA set out to make their status as favourites for the clash felt. Augsburg were camped out in the Celle half and patiently searched for an opening in the defence of the Oberliga side. At first, Eintracht were able to frustrate, closing down well and fully committing to fifty-fifty duels. It took a quarter of an hour before FCA had their first real chance in front of goal. Iago found space on the left side of the box and forced Yannik Ehlers into a rushed clearance that only found Florian Niederlechner in front of goal, who was ready to shoot but could not convert the chance.
As the minutes ticked by, the Fuggerstädter found themselves in space more and more frequently in the final third. Following a Gregoritsch header that sailed over the bar in the 19th minute, the ball finally ended up in the Celle net. Niederlechner played a long ball over the top to Ruben Vargas, who remained cool in front of goal and finished into the corner to make it 1-0 (20’).
FCA kept their foot on the gas after that. An attempt by Niederlechner went just over (29’), but seconds later Caligiuri doubled the lead. Gregoritsch won the ball deep in the opposing half and following passes by Carlos Gruezo and Vargas, the ball ended up on the edge of the penalty area with Caligiuri. The new arrival didn’t have to be asked twice and scored with a low effort to make it 2-0. Celle continued to fight back as best they could, but could not stop several more good opportunities for FCA before the break. Vargas hit the inside of the post in the (38’), as first Gregoritsch (42’) and then Niederlechner (45’) were denied by MTV keeper Tjark Klindworth.
At the start of the second half, Herrlich brought on two fresh faces in attack in André Hahn, who played his 100th competitive game for FCA, and Alfred Finnbogason, both of whom were soon the centre of attention. Ehlers brought down Hahn in the penalty area and referee Daniel Schlager pointed to the spot. Finnbogason stepped up and converted into the bottom left corner to put FCA 3-0 up.
With little danger from the away side, FCA continued to look for openings. For Augsburg’s fourth, Hahn played an outstanding ball into the run of Niederlechner, who had no problems in front of goal to find the back of the net in the 57th minute. Shortly after, Celle almost pulled back a conciliation goal, but Rodi Hezo’s curling effort went narrowly wide (58’).
Otherwise, the FCA continued to set the pace, with new arrivals Robert Gumny and Tobias Strobl also making their debuts in the second half. After Finnbogason (60’) and Raphael Framberger (64) let good chances go to waste, it was Hahn capped off his two assists with a goal. After an Augsburg corner wasn’t cleared, the attacker made some space at the edge of the box and smashed a low shot into the far corner to make it 5-0 (66’).
As the game reached the closing stages, FCA finally began to lessen off as Felix Krüger was able to get a shot away for Celle, but his effort just cleared the crossbar (73’). At the other end of the pitch, Finnbogason (80’), Hahn (82’) and Felix Uduokhai (85’) could not quite find Augsburg’s sixth goal.
It was Fredrik Jensen who finally found the elusive sixth. After Gumny's cross-field ball, Hahn set up the Finn, who decisively fired home to make it 6-0 (88’). But still this wasn’t enough. In the final minute, Iago carried the ball into the middle and found Jensen at the back post, who finished from an acute angle to score Augsburg’s seventh of the afternoon (90’).
In this manner, FCA moved confidently into the second round in the end, which will not take place until shortly before Christmas on 22nd and 23rd of December. FCA will start the new Bundesliga season at 1 FC Union Berlin on Saturday (15:30 CEST).