Richter scores and is sent off
FC Augsburg’s first home game of the year ended in a 4-1 defeat against VfB Stuttgart. FCA came back strong after the break, but a late red card capped off a tough afternoon.
After last weekend’s 1-0 win over 1. FC Köln, head coach Heiko Herrlich made one change to the starting line up. Former Stuttgart man Rani Khedira started in place of captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (serving a yellow-card suspension), while Felix Uduokhai deputised as captain for the very first time.
After taking just one point from their last three games, VfB got off to a strong start. Mateo Klimowicz recorded their first attempt on goal in the first minute, with Nicolas Gonzalez sending a header just over the crossbar soon after (2’). Both teams were looking to attack in the early moments of the game. Eight minutes in, referee Daniel Schlager pointed to the spot and awarded Stuttgart a penalty after Klimowicz was brought down in the box after making contact with Reece Oxford. Gonzalez stepped up and sent his shot into the bottom left corner to put the guests ahead early on (10’).
FCA quickly recovered from the early setback and went on the attack. Daniel Caligiuri’s free-kick from 20 metres out looked like it was heading in, but VfB keeper Gregor Kobel managed to redirect it onto the crossbar with his fingertips (14’). Minutes later, a header from Ruben Vargas sailed just over the bar (17’). Stuttgart looked a threat on the counter, switching over quickly to press forward and eventually seeing their efforts rewarded. Borna Sosa got on the end of a long ball down the wing and played in Silas Wamangituka, who slotted home (29’).
The second goal also didn’t appear to rattle FCA. Caligiuri came close from a free kick yet again (33’), while Klimowicz (36’) and Gonzalez (43’) both missed chances to extend the lead to three goals to nil.
The second half started with a bang for FC Augsburg, as Marco Richter cut the deficit in half just 30 seconds in. Richter first laid it off to Vargas, who cut it back across the face of goal where Richter just had to tap it in to bring FCA within one (46’). Stuttgart then nearly scored, but Castro’s shot sailed just wide of the post (47’).
Despite having found their way back into the game, Stuttgart continued to enjoy the better chances. Gonzalez’s bicycle kick was stopped by Gikiewicz (60’), but the goalkeeper was beaten just minutes later. A cross from Gonzalez found Castro waiting at the back post, as he side-footed it past Gikiewicz to bring the score to 3-1 (61’). The goal was first disallowed by referee Schlager for offside, but was then given after VAR review.
FCA were on the back foot after conceding the third goal, but were then able to find their composure once again. Richter missed in the 71st minute, while Robert Gumny’s shot hit the side netting (74’). Then, FCA were reduced to just 10 men after Richter was shown two yellow cards in the span of two minutes and had to leave the pitch (76’). FCA struggled to make up the man advantage Stuttgart were enjoying, and gave up another goal late on. Philipp Förster missed an open net (81’) before Daniel Didavi poked home a fourth in the closing minutes after a cross from Waldemar Anton (87’).
The final score stood at 4-1, as FCA fell to a clear defeat in their first home game of 2021. Next Saturday (16th January, 15:30 CET), FC Augsburg will face SV Werder Bremen away.