Caligiuri scores Augsburg's equaliser
FC Augsburg suffered a 3-1 defeat away to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Monday evening. The Fuggerstädter came back after conceding the opening goal, but a pair of Hoffenheim goals shortly after the break sealed the match in their favour.
After the 1-1 draw with Freiburg, head coach Heiko Herrlich made four changes to his starting XI. Raphael Framberger came back into the team after serving his suspension, as did Carlos Gruezo, as Robert Gumny and Rani Khedira dropped to the bench. Marek Suchý also came in for the injured Iago, while Felix Uduokhai took up the left-back position. Michael Gregoritsch started in place of André Hahn, who had previously tested positive for Covid-19.
Hoffenheim, previously winless in seven matches, took command of the game from the start, although it was Augsburg who had the first chance of the game through a Daniel Caligiuri free-kick (12’). At the other end, though, the hosts took an early lead. Christoph Baumgartner crossed to the back post, where Florian Grillitsch headed Hoffenheim into a 1-0 lead from close range (17’).
Hoffenheim had some good chances to extend the lead in the minutes that followed, but efforts from Grillitsch (20’) and Andrej Kramaric (26’) failed to hit the target. Sebastian Rudy (23’) and another Kramaric strike (25’) tested Rafał Gikiewicz’s reflexes in goal. With the help of a little luck, Augsburg withstood the barrage and struck back soon after. Gregoritsch lifted the ball towards the back post, where Caligiuri rose the highest to head home the equaliser (31’).
The match settled down somewhat after that frantic period, but both teams had one more chance before half-time. Kramaric headed straight at Gikiewicz (38’) shortly before Florian Niederlechner tested Hoffenheim ‘keeper Oliver Baumann from a tight angle (44’).
Not even a minute after the break, the ball was in the Augsburg net again. Ihlas Bebou knocked a long ball on towards Grillitsch, who made space for himself to fire home Hoffenheim’s second goal (46’). Things then went from bad to worse for FCA, with Hoffenheim adding another not long after. The Fuggerstädter pushed forward and left too much space for Hoffenheim at the back. A counter-attack was finished off by Bebou, whose weak effort found a corner to make it 3-1 (50’).
Augsburg took a little time to absorb the shock of the two rapid set-backs. It took until the 66th minute for the visitors to threaten the Hoffenheim goal again, but Caligiuri’s curling effort was off-target. Prior to that, Rudy had a tame effort which was never troubling Gikiewicz (64’). Augsburg kept trying right until the end, but Marco Richter’s volleyed attempt couldn’t find a way in (82’) and so the score remained at 3-1 until the final whistle.
Augsburg don’t have much time to stew on the defeat. We face Schalke 04 on Sunday (13th December, 15.30 CET).