Eleventh Bundesliga season starts in defeat
FC Augsburg were convincingly beaten 4-0 in the first game of their 11th season in the Bundesliga against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. FCA put up a strong fight for long periods of the game, but TSG were very clinical in the final third.
Head coach Markus Weinzierl was able to select captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, who had missed the 4-2 victory against fourth-tier side Greifswalder FC through an adductor problem. Robert Gumny and Ruben Vargas, who returned following his suspension, started the game; Frederik Winther and Raphael Framberger were named on the bench, whilst Alfred Finnbogason did not feature due to a ligament injury.
The match started at a leisurely pace in front of the 9,000 spectators. Both teams were trying to establish control and were hesitant to take risks. The game continued in this fashion for a while, before both teams had their first real chances. After Iago saved Kramaric’s effort (18’), Ruben Vargas had a good opportunity at the other end, firing a shot narrowly wide from an acute angle. As the first half drew to a close, Hoffenheim became more and more threatening in attack. Gumny made a crucial block from a Kramaric effort (32’) before Rafal Gikiewicz tipped the Croat’s 35th-minute effort over the bar.
Shortly after, however, the FCA keeper was beaten, as Kramaric’s cross from the right flank found Jacob Bruun Larsen at the back post, and Larsen headed into the corner to make it 1-0 to our opponents in the 37th minute. Augsburg reacted to this goal and eagerly searched for a response, and a header from Felix Uduokhai (43’) flew just past the goal.
FCA put on the pressure, Hoffenheim put the ball in the back of the net
FCA came out with much more energy in the second half but, aside from one attempt from Andre Hahn (50’), looked tame in front of goal. Meanwhile, TSG remained a threat, with Gikiewicz saving a David Raum shot (49’) and Sebastian Rudy shooting just off target from distance (56’). Weinzierl decided to call for reinforcements, giving new-signing Arne Maier his debut.
The pressure from Augsburg tailed off as the second half went on and it was Hoffenheim who looked the more likely. Gikiewicz was called into action again, saving well from Kramaric (76’), before being beaten a few minutes later. After a one-two with Kramaric, Sargis Adamyan found himself free in front of goal and made it 2-0 (79’). In the last few minutes TSG made certain of the three points. Georginio Rutter slotted home after Kramaric’s pass (87’) before Rudy made it 4-0 in added time after being found by Rutter (90’+5).
It was a difficult start for FCA in their first game of the season as they came away with nothing and will be hoping to put things right away at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday 21st August (15:30 CEST).