Birthday boy scores from the bench
FC Augsburg have finally defeated Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the Bundesliga at the 23rd attempt! The Fuggerstädter won 2-1 at tha BayArena on Saturday afternoon thanks to a winning goal from a birthday boy.
Enrico Maaßen made three changes to his team from the 4-0 defeat to SC Freiburg on matchday 1. Fredrik Jensen, Mads Pedersen and Robert Gumny replaced Maximilian Bauer, Daniel Caligiuri and André Hahn, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on the day of the game.
Augsburg pressed the Champions League participants early on and it developed into a hard-fought game. The fans in attendance had to wait a little while for the first chance and FCA were clinical with it. Iago found Ermedin Demirović on the edge of the box with a low pass and he directly played in strike partner Fredrik Jensen. In his 50th competitive game for the club, the Finland international poked it past Bayer goalkeeper Andrey Lunev for 1-0 (15’).
Leverkusen grew into the game after the drinks break and saw Serdar Azmoun head over from a Moussa Diaby cross (34’). Shortly before that, Demirović robbed Mitchel Bakker of possession and had his shot saved by Lunev (32’). The hosts got back on level terms before the break through Charles Aránguiz’s powerful strike after Felix Uduokhai had initially blocked Adam Hlozek’s shot (43’). Azmoun missed a great chance with a header in the sixth minute of time added on at the end of the half.
The Werkself put the pressure on during the second half and that meant that FCA goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz got the chance to impress on several occasions. The Pole was equal to Hlozek (49’) and Jeremie Frimpong’s (53’) efforts and then tipped Azmoun’s shot over the bar (61’). The ball was in the Augsburg net again for a second time in the 70th minute, however Aránguiz’s goal was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
The Fuggerstädter survived a tough period of the match thanks to some luck and hard work. With just eight minutes to go, substitute Andre Hahn, who came on in the 65th minute, scored the winning goal with a rasping low drive on his left foot. The goal was initially ruled out as it looked like Florian Niederlechner was offside, though a VAR check confirmed FCA’s vital second goal of the afternoon.
Maaßen’s men fought tooth and nail to hold on and had Gikiewicz to thank once again when he denied Patrik Schick from close range (86’). His team saw the game out to finally secure their first ever win against Leverkusen!
The first win of the season has seen FCA rise to ninth in the table. The next game is at home to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday, 20th August (15:30 CEST).