On Saturday afternoon, FC Augsburg had to settle for a point in a thrilling game against VfL Bochum in the WWK ARENA, drawing 2-2 after going ahead twice.
Head coach Enrico Maaßen had expected an intense game and his expectations were met in the first 15 minutes. The game was full of individual battles and tough tackling, meaning both sides needed to be robust.
The first real chance for Augsburg came in the 17th minute through Phillip Tietz. The 26-year-old’s volley from 25 yards out rattled against the crossbar as the Red-Green-Whites began to take more control of the game and dictate the tempo.
VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann had to be alert and rush out of his box to clear a long ball to Dion Beljo (22’). After 30 minutes, FCA goalie Finn Dahmen had the first opportunity to show his class, saving Bochum’s first shot on target in spectacular fashion with his cheek. The follow-up shot from Philipp Hofmann was fired way over the bar.
Beljo puts FCA in front
Augsburg continued to put the pressure on and were rewarded in the 35th minute. Beljo, one of two changes to the starting XI, initiated the attack himself and then got on the end of captain Ermedin Demirovic’s ball into the centre to open the scoring. However, in the third minute of stoppage time, the visitors equalised. After Maximilian Wittek hit the post from distance, Takuma Asano then brought the game level with a shot into the top-right corner.
The two teams continued to battle hard in the second half. Dahmen ensured the scores remained level with a save in the 60th minute, allowing FCA to retake the lead a few minutes later. After an attack down the left, Beljo’s shot was pushed onto the post, but Demirović followed up and managed to bundle the ball over the line. Augsburg’s celebrations didn’t last long though. After a long ball from Bochum over the top of the FCA defence, it was Asano once again who slid in for the equaliser (64’).
The game was a real back-and-forth affair now. The Westphalians often looked dangerous in front of the FCA goal, but the home team also had a great chance to take the lead. In the 80th minute, Gumny produced a textbook header which VfL keeper Riemann just about managed to hook away on the line to deny a late winner and ensure a share of the spoils.
Next week, the Bundesliga will take a break as the players head off for international duty for the first time this season. Nevertheless, football will still be on offer in the WWK ARENA when Daniel Baier plays his farewell match alongside numerous other FCA greats. Augsburg return to competitive action a week later with a trip to Leipzig.