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FCA let two-goal lead slip to draw in Wolfsburg

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FCA let two-goal lead slip to draw in Wolfsburg

Injury-time equaliser

FC Augsburg travelled to VfL Wolfsburg for their first game back after the March international break. “Die Fuggerstädter” were on course for victory for the majority of the 400th Bundesliga game in their history, but they conceded another late goal in second-half injury time to draw 2-2.

FCA head coach Enrico Maaßen was forced into one change as Ermedin Demirović, who received a red card in the 1-1 draw with Schalke, began his three-match suspension. Dion Beljo started up front in his place, whilst Niklas Dorsch (nose operation) and Kelvin Yeboah (ankle) were also missing from the matchday squad. 

FCA and VfL have already faced each other on several occasions this season. They drew 1-1 in the league and also played two friendlies against one another in January. It was Augsburg’s first visit to Wolfsburg this season, and they got off to the perfect start, as Wolfsburg captain Maximilian Arnold headed Arne Engels’ corner into his own net in the 2nd minute. It was the opening to an exciting start to the game, in which the Wolves had two good chances of their own through Jakub Kamisnki (7’) and Patrick Wimmer (15’), both of which went begging. 

Maaßen’s side became somewhat more defensive after taking the lead, and then had fortune favour them in the 21st minute. Arne Maier fouled Wimmer in the box, and referee Martin Petersen pointed to the spot, which gave Arnold the chance to atone for his own goal. However, the midfielder’s spot kick sailed well over. It got even more nerve-wracking for FCA when Yannick Gerhardt’s header struck the left post (24’), but the visitors withstood Wolfsburg’s wave of attacks. 

Mergim Berisha, who celebrated his Germany national team debut during the international break, then gave a perfect example of how to be efficient in front of goal. Engles sent the new Germany international through with an inch-perfect pass, and Berisha fired a low, left-footed shot into the far corner to double Augsburg’s lead (32’). It was his ninth goal of the season, and thanks to Rafał Gikiewicz tipping Arnold’s long-distance effort onto the post (39’), the score remained 2-0 come the break. 

Wolfsburg hit back late on 

Mads Pedersen came on for Ruben Vargas at the start of the second half, as FCA continued to defend with discipline and the back four commanded their penalty area much better. Apart from a chance for Gerhardt (48’) from a tight angle which didn’t pose any threat, and a couple of long shots from Arnold (68’/77’), the Wolves struggled to create at the start of the second period.  

It stayed that way for a long time, and Maaßen brought on two pairs of fresh legs in Renato Veiga and Irvin Cardona for goalscorer Berisha and captain Gouweleeuw, who had been fighting a cold in the build-up to the game (70’). Just after coming on, Cardona had a good chance to score Augsburg’s third, but keeper Koen Casteels plucked his chipped shot out of the sky (73’). Instead, it was the hosts who found the back of the net. Following a cross in from a free kick on the right, Luca Waldschmidt netted past Gikiewicz from close range, and after a short VAR check, the goal was given (83’).

It then got even worse. The five minutes of added time initially awarded were already up when a high cross sailed into Augsburg’s penalty area. Substitute Felix Nmecha climbed highest and headed in Wolfsburg’s equaliser in the dying second (90’+6). Just like against Schalke, FCA were denied a first away win of 2023 because of a late, late goal. 

The draw leaves Augsburg in 12th place on 29 points, two points clear of 1. FC Köln, whom FCA face in their next match on Easter Sunday (8th April, 15:30 CEST) at the WWK ARENA.

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FCA let two-goal lead slip to draw in Wolfsburg

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