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FCA fall to heavy 5-1 defeat in Freiburg
FC Augsburg have fallen to a heavy 5-1 defeat away against SC Freiburg. After a poor first half performance, which saw the visitors 3-0 down at the break, Rani Khedira scored to give the visitors hope for a second half fightback. However, despite an improved performance, Freiburg eventually ran out 5-1 winners.
FCA head coach Manuel Baum made two changes to the side that fell to a narrow 3-2 derby defeat at home to FC Bayern München last week. Captain Daniel Baier returned to the starting lineup after he was suspended for the Bavarian derby, while Ja-Cheol Koo replaced Kevin Danso. The Austrian fell to the bench while Jan Moravek missed the trip to Freiburg with a muscle problem. In the opening minutes, the hosts forced FCA backwards and put the visitors under pressure. Luca Waldschmidt created the first opportunity for Freiburg (2’), before Reece Oxford almost turned the ball into his own net just a minute later. Freiburg went on to take a deserved early lead in the 9th minute as a long ball played in Nils Petersen, who made the most of a Rani Khedira error to fire the ball beyond Gregor Kobel in the Augsburg goal. Freiburg continued to attack after taking the lead and Vincenzo Grifo and Petersen missed good chances to double the lead in the 13th and 18th minutes respectively. FCA didn’t threaten at the other end and were grateful for goalkeeper Kobel, who made two strong saves to keep the score at 1-0.
Grifo’s perfect free-kick – Petersen seals brace on stroke of half-time
FC Augsburg created their first good chance of the match in the 25th minute as Sergio Córdova forced Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow into a smart save. At the other end, Freiburg doubled their lead as Vincenzo Grifo curled a perfect free-kick into the top corner (30’). The hosts created more chances to extend their lead even further as Kobel denied Waldschmidt before Grifo fired the ball into the side netting. Just a couple of minutes later, Gregor Kobel picked the ball out of his own net for the third time. Petersen flicked on a corner at the near post to seal his brace and give Freiburg a deserved 3-0 lead going into half-time (43’). However, it could’ve been even more as Grifo fired a shot narrowly wide with the last move of the first half (45’).
Khedira gives FCA hope – Waldschmidt restores Freiburg’s three goal cushion
FCA started the second half much more brightly as they went in search of a route back into the match. Jonathan Schmid, who was facing his former club, fired a long distance shot over the bar as Augsburg enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges (48’). A few moments later, Augsburg had the ball in the back of the net and were within two goals of parity. Dong-Won Ji played the ball over the Freiburg defence and Rani Khedira ran on to poke the ball beyond Schwolow and in off the far post (52’). The visitors were now in the ascendancy as they looked to score the two goals necessary to pull themselves level. Koo fired a shot narrowly wide on the hour mark (59’), before hopes of an FCA comeback were brought short. A good Freiburg counter attack saw Waldschmidt create space on the edge of the penalty box and he fired home to give the hosts a 4-1 lead (64’). Moments later, Michael Gregoritsch thought he had given FCA restored hope as his shot crashed off the far post and clear of Schwolow’s goal (66’).
Gregoritsch denied at the last second – Niederlechner seals Freiburg’s victory
Once again, FCA went in search of a route back into the match. The visitors went close once again as a close range Michael Gregoritsch shot was denied by a last gasp save from Schwolow (76’). That turned out to be Augsburg’s last clear chance of the match as Freiburg went on to wrap up victory. After Augsburg cheaply lost possession in front of their own goal, Florian Niederlechner was played in on the left side of the penalty box. He curled the ball in the far corner of the net to give Freiburg a 5-1 victory (85’). In the final moments, Reece Oxford was given a red card for a heavy challenge on Janik Haberer (90+2’). FCA suffered their second consecutive defeat and turn their attentions to Friday night’s home clash with Borussia Dortmund (20:30 CET).
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