Stade Rennais F.C.
The final friendly of pre-season ends in defeat
FC Augsburg fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat against Europa League side, Stade Rennais, on Saturday afternoon. The 6,500 fans inside the WWK-Arena witnessed a solid attacking display, but FCA were ultimately punished for their defensive errors.
The game, which took place on the “day of diversity”, consisted of four 30 minute halves. The starting XI included captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, stalwart Daniel Caligiuri and goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz.
The game got underway after a minute’s silence for the late HSV legend Uwe Seeler. The visitors got off to a bright start, when they had the ball in the net from a corner, which was the result of a Martin Terrier shot from 18 yards. It was, however, ruled out for a clear foul on Caligiuri (4’). Just 60 seconds later, the French side won the ball on the edge of the box and Benjamin Bourigeaud kept his cool to slot the ball past Gikiewicz to give his side the lead.
The home side grew into the game and had their first real scoring opportunity through Iago. The Brazillian’s dipping shot failed to test goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and he couldn’t quite find André Hahn with the return pass (14’). Augsburg, however, equalised in the 22nd minute. After winning the ball in the opposition half, Arne Maier found Ermedin Demirović, who chipped the ball over Mandanda. It was the former Freiburg player’s first goal for Augsburg.
It was a lively game in the second half an hour with lots of chances. Iago failed to find Hahn with a cross-field pass and just a few moments later, the Augsburg striker made an important block in his own penalty area (46’). Maaßen made some changes, with Frederik Winther coming on for Niklas Dorsch, who came off with an injured ankle. Just before the second quarter came to a close, Rennais struck twice. Geatan Laborde slotted one through Gikiewicz's legs (54’) and the guests doubled their advantage after an own goal, when a Lovro Majer shot deflected off Felix Uduokhai and into the Augsburg net. (59’).
Ricardo Pepi, Mads Pedersen, Florian Niederlechner and Robert Gumny came on for FCA at the break. Niederlechner made an impact after his arrival but the attacker failed to beat substitute goalkeeper Dogan Alemdar on two occasions (66’, 84’). The French side almost made it four, but Serhou Guirassy was denied by the cross bar and Gikewicz saved the rebound (74’).
The boss made further changes as the game went into the final quarter and Augsburg looked to press their opponents. Pedersen tried to find Pepi with a sharp cross, but it was intercepted before it could reach the American. The FCA fans finally had something to cheer in the 117th minute, when Maurice Malone found the bottom corner with a left-footed shot.
Next up for Augsburg is a trip to Blau-Weiß Lohne in the first round of the DFB-Pokal (Sunday 31st July, 15:30 CEST).
FCA: Gikiewicz (90' Klein) – Uduokhai (90' Framberger), Gouweleeuw (90' Koudossou), Bauer (90' Zehnter) – Caligiuri (60' Gumny), Gruezo (90' Götze), Dorsch (45' Winther), Iago (60' Pedersen) – Maier (60' Pepi) – Hahn (90' Malone), Demirović (60' Niederlechner)
Goals: 0-1 Bourigeaud (5'), 1-1 Demirović (22'), 1-2 Laborde (54'), 1-3 Own Goal (56'), 2-3 Malone (117')