FCA took a huge step towards safety with a 1-0 away win in Mainz on Sunday. Augsburg took the lead after just 43 seconds in an end-to-end match.
Head coach Heiko Herrlich made one change to the side that drew 1-1 against 1. FC Köln last Sunday. Jeffrey Gouweleeuw was given his first start under the new coach, replacing Tin Jedvaj, who dropped to the bench.
The match couldn’t have begun any better for FCA. Attacker Florian Niederlechner gave the visiting side the lead after just 43 seconds. The Mainz defence failed to clear the ball properly and Carlos Gruezo headed the ball back into the Zerofivers’ box. Niederlechner hit the ball on the turn over FSV goalkeeper Florian Müller – his 12th goal of the season, having not scored in his last 10 outings.
Mainz reacted to going a goal down and began to heap pressure onto the Augsburg defence. However, Taiwo Awoniyi's headed chance was the hosts' only real opportunity of note. The Zerofivers dominated possession, but the Fuggerstädter remained strong at the back. Both teams were flying into challenges with real passion and effort, but this resulted in the game becoming scrappy. It took until the half-hour mark for Augsburg to create their next decent chance; Ruben Vargas' shot was low and just wide of the left-hand upright (31'). FSV were not to be put off and carved out some opportunities late on in the first half. Philipp Max cleared Jean-Philippe Mateta's effort off the line after the Frenchman had gone round the FCA 'keeper (39'), and Luthe denied Karim Onisiwo an equalising goal (43'). The Zerofivers had the last chance of the half as well, but Luthe scrambled to tip Mateta's headed effort over the crossbar (44'+3).
FCA had the first attacking moment of the second period, as Vargas’ deflected shot just skimmed the top of the bar. Mainz again took control of the game, but failed to break down a compact Augsburg defence. Vargas then missed a good chance to make it 2-0 (61’), before substitute Andre Hahn was denied by Müller (63’).
The Zerofivers remained the more attacking side and pressed for an equaliser but Luthe was hardly tested in the Augsburg goal. The Fuggerstädter just couldn't break out, but remained solid at the back and didn't afford Mainz any clear cut chances. Augsburg stayed strong and saw out the win, which puts four points between them and Mainz.
Today’s victory has seen the Fuggerstädter move seven points clear of the relegation play-off position. FCA are next in action on Wednesday, 17th June (20:30 CEST) at home to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.