FCA concede late equaliser in end-to-end 4-4 draw with Gladbach


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FCA concede late equaliser in end-to-end 4-4 draw with Gladbach

Eight goal thriller in first goal of the season

The 30,660 supporters in attendance at a sold-out WWK ARENA were treated a spectacular end-to-end game in FCA’s first Bundesliga game of the new season. A pumped-up FCA conceded an equaliser in the very final moments of the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, meaning the game finished in a 4-4 draw.

FCA head coach Enrico Maaßen made five changes to the side following the 2-0 DFB-Pokal defeat to SpVgg Unterhaching, with Mergim Berisha, Mads Pedersen, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Maximilian Bauer and Felix Uduokhai all coming back into the starting eleven. Alongside the suspended Patric Pfeiffer and Robert Gumny, Irvin Cardona (back problems) and Arne Maier (illness) also missed the game.

Despite extremely hot conditions, both teams started the game with their foot on the gas. After captain Ermedin Demirović was just prevented from finishing (11‘), it was the away side from Mönchengladbach who took the lead, with Ko Itakura powering a header home from a corner (13’). FCA had a bit of luck moments later as Finn Dahmen was able to get a hold of the ball just before it crossed the line (15’). Maaßen’s side also had their chances, with Ruben Vargas nodding an Arne Engels corner over the bar (17’).

After a drinks break, the game really went up a notch. Tomáš Čvančara scored after neat interplay with Julian Weigl to make it 2-0 (27’), but FCA managed to pull once back two minutes later. The goalscorer was Elvis Rexhbecaj, who drilled a shot home from the edge of the box. Maaßen’s side were back in the game, but were then pegged back once again in the 37th minute, as Nathan Ngoumou raced through to score Gladbach’s third goal.

Supported by yet another sell-out crowd, the seventh in a row at the WWK ARENA reaching back to last season, FCA started working on their comeback even before half time. Demirović headed the ball back across goal to Maximilian Bauer, who tapped home to score his first goal for the club (41’). Luca Netz brought down Engels in the box in additional time at the end of the first half, with referee Daniel Schlager going over to look on the monitor and finally pointing to the spot. Sven Michel tucked away the resulting penalty and the game was back level at 3-3 as both teams went in for half time (45+7’).

Dorsch clears off the line, Vargas drills home

The second half started with a nervy moment for FCA, but Niklas Dorsch made up for his loose pass with a good recovery to clear off the line (54’). In the following period, both teams sought to take control of the game, with FCA recording 55% possession in this period of the game and was showing good control of the ball with a pass success rate of 90%. However, there was not much action of note in front of goal apart from a deflected cross by Mads Pedersen (64’) and a long-range effort from Florian Neuhaus, which was well saved by Dahmen (67’).

This changed as the game went into its 76th minute, with Phillip Tietz feeding the onrushing Vargas on the right of the box, who drilled a low shot across goal and past fellow countryman Omlin, sending the WWK ARENA into dreamland. FCA now tried to maintain this lead, and had held on deep into injury time. However, a challenge in the box between Engels and Borges Sanches resulted in a Gladbach penalty and Čvančara stepped up confidently to hammer it home (90+7’). A disappointing ending to a crazy first game of the season.

FCA now travel to record champions Bayern Munich on Saturday, 26. August, (15.30 CEST) to play a Bayern side who won their first game of the season 4-0 in Bremen.


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FCA concede late equaliser in end-to-end 4-4 draw with Gladbach

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