FC Augsburg will have to continue to wait for a win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. On Sunday afternoon, Martin Schmidt's team lost 2-0 (0-1) to the Europa League participants.
Martin Schmidt changed up his starting XI for Matchday 23. In addition to Fredrik Jensen and Felix Uduokhai, FCA's own Raphael Framberger came back into the team. He replaced Stephan Lichtsteiner at right back as the Swiss international continues to recover from the injury he picked up in the game against SC Freiburg. Two FCA players celebrated milestones against Leverkusen: Captain Daniel Baier played his 350th competitive game for the FCA, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw was also out on the pitch for FCA for the 100th time.
It was a poor first half to begin with, in which both sides initially tried to get a foothold in the game. Augsburg's goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek was first called into action in the 10th minute when Nadiem Amiri intercepted the ball in the FCA box and was baring down on goal - but Koubek was there. FCA needed a little more time to get their first chance, but after a corner, Florian Niederlechner headed just past the Werkself post (18’). A few minutes later, Philipp Max was much closer to grabbing the first goal, when his shot from 30 yards flew just inches wide of the mark.
In the first half, however, only the hosts were allowed to cheer: Kai Havertz looked for and found Moussa Diaby, who was able to penetrate the penalty area and finish coolly to put Leverkusen ahead. FCA were stunned by the goal and seemed to lose their way in the game a little. The hosts were now in control, but failed to register another big chance before the break and so the score stayed at 1-0 heading into half time.
A similar picture emerged after the change of ends: Leverkusen had more possession of the ball, but initially failed to profit from it. FCA stood their ground defensively and tried to find their way into the game on the counter. But instead the goal came at the other end in the 59th minute when Nadiem Amiri received it in the middle of the goal before striking it home to put the hosts 2-0 up.
Even in the final stages, the Augsburg team found way to overcome the Bayer defensive. Substitute Ruben Vargas missed the best chance of the game after Leverkusen gave the ball away, but Lukas Hradecky was there to prevent the goal (76’). A few minutes earlier, the crossbar had prevented another Werkself goal from Kai Havertz (66’). When Florian Niederlechner’s effort failed to overcome Hradecky once again, the game was effectively over. And so the referee blew the final whistle to signal another loss against Leverkusen for FC Augsburg.
FC Augsburg will host Borussia Mönchengladbach at the WWK ARENA this weekend (Saturday, February 29, 3:30 p.m.).