On matchday 12 of the Bundesliga FC Augsburg visited VfB Stuttgart. In the Schwaben derby, FCA came away empty-handed after a dramatic injury time goal saw Stuttgart pinch a 2-1 win.
FCA head coach Enrico Maaßen had to go without left-back Iago after he received a red card in the 3-3 draw against RB Leipzig. In his place, Mads Pedersen who got back to full fitness just in time, started at left-back. On the right hand side of defence, Fredrik Jensen, having himself recently recovered from injury, was a very offensive minded player. Felix Uduokhai was back in the squad for the first time after suffering a syndesmosis ligament tear.
FCA had scored eight goals in their last three competitive matches – and Maaßen’s troops started the game against Stuttgart with similar levels of vigour. After Ruben Vargas missed the first chance of the game (3’), it was only 60 seconds later when FCA actually took the lead. After Jensen played the ball out wide to Florian Niederlechner, the striker skipped past the challenge of Dan-Axel Zagadou before lobbing past Stuttgart shot-stopper Florian Müller into the corner. That was Niederlechner’s second goal of the season with his first coming in the away game at Köln (2-3).
Again and again, the Fuggerstädter were embroiled in challenges with Stuttgart, but the home side showed great commitment in the period that followed. After precisely 15 minutes, Stuttgart with interim head coach Michael Wimmer in charge, who had worked as an assistant coach with FCA during the 2018/19 season, had grabbed the equaliser. Borna Sosa sent an inviting cross into the box where Serhou Guirassy buried his header into the goal from close range at the first time of asking.
Both sides continued to look dangerous going forward. Niederlechner sent a shot flying narrowly past the right hand side of the goal (17’) and Mergim Berisha forced Müller into a good diving save (20’). After 25 minutes, Maaßen was forced to make his first change as Lukas Petkov replaced Ruben Vargas, who appeared to have hurt his ankle. The former missed from a long ball from Jeffery Gouweleeuw shortly after coming on, while Luca Pfeiffer (33’) and Chris Führich (37’) missed the target from good positions for VfB. On the stroke of half time, Mads Pedersen made a fantastic save from Silas only a few metres in front of goal.
No handball from Sosa, Uduokhai celebrates comeback from injury
FCA started the second half well and looked to have won a penalty in the 57th minute when Lukas Petvok’s cross struck the outstretched arm of Borna Sosa – referee Tobias Stieler didn’t deem it a punishable offence, however. Further opportunities to take the lead came from Ermedin Demirovic (59’ / 68’) and Berisha (62’), but neither could find the net, but then Stuttgart suddenly roared back into the game. In the 75th minute, a powerful Guirassy shot went narrowly over the bar, and only a few seconds later, an acrobatic overhead kick from the Frenchman landed on the roof of the net.
There were many changes on both sides and Felix Udoukhai celebrated his comeback from injury. Stuttgart were definitely the dominant team in the closing stages with far more energy left in their tank. Amongst their multiple late chances, Luca Pfeiffer hit the crossbar and Waldemar Anton’s header on the rebound narrowly skimmed the bar as well. When Tomáš Koubek made a brilliant save again from a Pfeiffer shot, this time from point-blank, it looked certain that the points would be shared. But in stoppage time, Tiago Tomás back heeled the ball into the path of Anton who buried the ball with venom into the far corner (90+1’). Maaßen’s team could not recover from this late blow.
The defeat cut Augsburg’s lead over Stuttgart in the table to only three points, and for the time being, FCA are in 13th place. The next game sees Europa League participants come to the WWK ARENA on Saturday, 5th November, 15:30 CET.
- VfB Stuttgart