Niederlechner (2) and Richter score for FCA
FC Augsburg lost their first game of the Rückrunde 5-3 to Borussia Dortmund. FCA led 3-1 until a dramatic turnaround from BVB stole the points.
Head coach Martin Schmidt included attacking midfielder Fredrik Jensen in his first starting eleven of the decade. New signing Eduard Löwen, who signed on loan from Hertha during the winter break, began the game on the bench.
FCA pressed BVB early on as they looked to catch the visitors out. Despite that, Dortmund had the first chance in the game, but Tomas Koubek denied Thorgan Hazard after four minutes. The away side then wasted a golden opportunity in the fourth minute. Jadon Sancho squared the ball across the box for Marco Reus, however the pass was slightly behind BVB’s captain and he couldn’t connect with the ball to open the scoring (8’).
Borussia may have had more possession, however Augsburg were still creating chances and playing their part in the game. Daniel Baier and Marco Richter saw shots fail to trouble Bürki, before Ruben Vargas had a goal ruled out for offside (21’). Dortmund then created more opportunities – Sancho narrowly cleared the crossbar and Reus missed from close range.
As BVB started to control the game, Augsburg took the lead. Vargas brilliantly carved open the Dortmund defence and got to the byline, before squaring the ball for Florian Niederlechner, who tapped into the empty net to put FCA 1-0 up (34’). Philipp Max then saw a free-kick well saved by Bürki on the stroke of half time.
The second half began in spectacular fashion for the hosts. Marco Richter doubled Augsburg’s lead less than a minute after the restart, although it didn’t take long for Dortmund to find a response. Julian Brandt danced his way through the FCA back four and smashed a shot off the inside of the post to make it 2-1 (49’). Augsburg then took advantage of Dortmund’s attacking intent and caught them on the break to find a third goal (55’). Richter and Jensen worked well to get the ball to Vargas, who gave it to Max. He put the cross on Niederlechner’s foot and he did the rest – his tenth goal of the season already.
The drama wasn’t going to end there though – it was then Dortmund’s turn to score quick goals. Sancho played in Erling Haaland, who had just come off the bench, and the debutant made it 3-2. England international Sancho then scored himself just two minutes later as he rounded Koubek (61’).
Borussia had the momentum with them and then saw shots by Reus (62’) and Hazard (65’) well saved by Koubek. The Augsburg keeper was beaten for a fourth time minutes later. Hazard rounded him and set up Haaland, who made it 4-3 (71’). Augsburg seemed somewhat shocked by the turnaround and were caught again as Haaland sealed a debut hat-trick in the 79th minute – the final goal of an incredible game.
Despite a strong showing, Augsburg started the Rückrunde with a loss. The next game is away at Union on Saturday, 25th January (15:30 CEST).