2020 Year in Review
2020 will be remembered largely for the Coronavirus pandemic, but it was also a successful year for FCA, as the club ensured their top-flight status for the tenth consecutive season. We're taking a look back at everything that's happened over the last 12 months, in our Year in Review. June saw FCA ensure they’d be staying up, and could start looking forward to a tenth year of Bundesliga football.
As the season began to wind to a close in early June, the pressure continued to rise. FCA let several chances go begging against 1. FC Köln, with Florian Niederlechner also missing a penalty. Köln would go on to take a late lead, but Philipp Max scored the equaliser just two minutes later to rescue an important point for his side.
The following week, FCA visited 1. FSV Mainz 05, who sat just one point behind Augsburg in the table. Niederlechner discovered a timely return to form, scoring just 43 seconds into the game – his first goal after drawing a blank in the previous 10. “Last week, I was the idiot and today I’m the hero,” Niederlechner said after the win.
Just three days later, Augsburg hosted TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the WWK-Arena. A win would have been enough for Augsburg to ensure they’d be staying up, but instead they fell to a 3-1 defeat against the Kraichgau natives. Ruben Vargas netted FCA’s lone goal of the game, but it proved to only be a consolation strike. A defeat for Düsseldorf would have also been enough for FCA, but Fortuna were able to rescue a point with an injury-time goal against Leipzig.
Three days later, Fortuna and Augsburg faced off in a bottom-of-the-table battle. Once again, Niederlechner put FCA ahead early on. Fortuna were able to equalize before the break, but FCA allowed them no further chances to break through, as the game ended in a draw. The point on the penultimate day was enough for FCA to secure their place in next season’s Bundesliga. “That was a strong performance,” said Heiko Herrlich, as his side were able to secure ‘La Décima:' their tenth successive season of top-flight football.
With the immediate pressure gone, FCA headed into the final day of the season knowing they were safe, but that the opportunity was there to climb a couple places in the table. Augsburg held Leipzig at bay for much of the match, with Ruben Vargas netting a late equaliser. However, RBL were able to score a winner in the dying minutes to pick up their first-ever Bundesliga win in Augsburg, at their fourth time of asking. FCA ended the season in 15th place with 36 points.
While a highly unusual 2019/20 campaign had come to an end, the spectre of the new season had already started to make itself shown. FCA signed three experienced Bundesliga players in the summer, getting Rafał Gikiewicz (Union), Tobias Strobl (Gladbach) and Daniel Caligiuri (Schalke) on a free in order to help prop up the team going into the 2020/21 season.