Pre-season ends in defeat
FC Augsburg were beaten 1-0 by Ajax in their final friendly of pre-season on Saturday night.
Heiko Herrlich was without new signing Robert Gumny, Michael Gregortisch, Ruben Vargas and Fredrik Jensen (all on international duty) and the injured Eduard Löwen, Jan Morávek, Marco Richter and Noah Sarenren Bazee for the final fixture of pre-season. Florian Niederlechner and Alfred Finnbogason led the line in attack.
Both sides started with attacking intent, the first chance falling to André Hahn after a quick transition deep in the Dutch half (7’). The hosts slowly found their way into the game and were awarded a penalty in the 17th minute after the ball caught Daniel Caligiuri’s outstretched arm in the box. Zakaria Labyad stepped up and converted the spot-kick for the Dutch side (19’).
FCA almost bounced back immediately, but Niederlechner’s strike only found the outside netting. Finnbogason registered a shot on target, but it wasn’t enough to test André Onana (29’), but otherwise the clinical edge was lacking in the final third. Meanwhile, Ajax’s were showing their free-flowing but also struggled to create chances; a curling effort from David Neres (38’) the only notable effort.
Herrlich introduced Tobias Strobl, Marek Suchý and Mads Pedersen for the second half, but the fresh legs were unable to regain control of the game from the hosts. Nicolas Tagliafico tested FCA keeper Rafal Gikiewicz (48‘) from close range, before a combined defensive effort denied Neres (56’). At the other end, Niederlechner tried his luck on the volley, but lacked the necessary control (53’).
Several changes followe das the half progressed, which took the rhythm out of both sides’ game. Lassina Traoré fizzed an effort wide of the far post, while Finnbogason’s last-gasp attempt to equalise landed safely in the arms of the Ajax keeper (90+1’).
With that, Augsburg’s pre-season officially comes to an end. Next week, things get serious when FCA face fifth-tier MTV Eintracht Celle in the DFB-Pokal first round (12th September, 15:30 CEST).
FCA: Gikiewicz (65' Koubek) – Framberger, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai (46'. Suchý), Iago (46' Pedersen) – Khedira (46' Strobl), Gruezo (65' Oxford) – Caligiuri, Hahn – Finnbogason, Niederlechner
Goal: 1-0 Labyad (19', pen)