FC Augsburg are still waiting for their first points away from home in 2023, falling 3-1 in Mainz on matchday 20.
Head coach Enrico Maaßen made two changes to his starting line-up following last weekend’s 1-0 win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Mads Petersen was out after picking up a knock, as new signing Renato Vega made his first start for FCA. Ermedin Demirović was back in the XI after serving his yellow-card suspension.
In honour of Saturday’s Carnival matchday, Mainz wore a special-edition shirt of bright primary colours while the fans showed up in various costumes. Prior to kick off, a minute’s silence was held in memory of the victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. After the match got underway, FCA didn’t need long to record their first chance of the night. Mergim Berisha’s cross into the box just missed finding Dion Beljo (3’), before the side looking to capitalise from a corner (6’) – both chances ultimately came to nothing. Neither side managed to find their way into the final third in the minutes that followed, as they both got tangled up in numerous duels.
Mainz slowly began to exert control over the flow of play, and were able to take the lead as a result. Jae-sung Lee stole the ball from Felix Uduokhai and knocked him to the ground, but referee Sven Jablonski let play continue. Ludovic Ajorque got the ball tangled in his feet, as it fell to Lee again and he slotted home from close range (21’). Just three minutes later, Karim Onisiwo was able to head in FSV’s second of the afternoon (24’).
FCA responded well, however, as Demirović headed the ball into Leandro Barreiro’s hand shortly after, winning a penalty for his side. After consulting with VAR, Jablonski pointed to the spot and Demirović stepped up to cut the deficit (28’). Augsburg were pushing for an equaliser, but were also fortunate that efforts from Stefan Bell (37’) and Ajorque (43’) both missed the target.
Jensen’s goal is disallowed
The guests made one change at the break, as Fredrik Jensen came on for Dion Beljo. Once again, it was Mainz who got off to a fast start as Lee won the ball off Robert Gumny and poked it past the on-rushing Gikiewicz to put the Zerofivers 3-1 up (52’). Maaßen reacted by bringing on fresh legs in the form of Niklas Dorsch, Kelvin Yeboah and David Čolina.
The substitutes brought fresh wind into FCA’s attack, as the team were able to win 12 corners during the game. Jensen was able to poke one of these over the line, but it was later overturned due to an offside position from the Finland international (74’). Berisha was unlucky to miss from a tight angle (72’), while Yeboah’s header was parried by goalkeeper Finn Dahmen (77’).
Despite a hard-fighting performance, the defeat keeps FCA in 13th place with 21 points. Next Friday (17th February), they will host 14th-placed TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the WWK Arena (20:30 CET).
- 1. FSV Mainz 05