FC Augsburg earn promotion to Bundesliga with last gasp 2-1 win
impuls arena, Augsburg - "Jos we can win on mothers day!" were the words being held aloft on cards all around the sold out stadium. Word play on the name of Augsburg manager Jos Luhukay (pronounced 'yos') who´s team hosted FSV Frankfurt on a sunny afternoon in rural Bavaria.
Today was a historic day for FC Augsburg who for the first time in their history have reached the dizzy heights of the top flight of German league football. A win today was all that was needed to secure their promotion and despite conceding a penalty after just 2 minutes (converted by Juergen Gjasula), they did equalize through Michael Thurk (14 mins) and then poked home a late winner scored by substitute Stephan Hain (85 mins) who had only been on the pitch for some 7 minutes.
It was a dominant and attacking performance from Augsburg who came out with all guns blazing and with the intention of taking the game firmly to their visitors. Frankfurt did offer some resistance but it was mostly one-way traffic. The Bavarian outfit expertly exposing Frankfurt´s weakness down the left flank. Axel Billinghausen and Marcel De Jong were virtually unstoppable as they worked the ball ruthlessly down the left side to deliver crosses with pin point accuracy.
Solid passing and good running gave them the first opportunity of the game of which Nando Rafael was just unable to capitalize on.
Frankfurt goalkeeper Michael Langer was put under pressure with a back pass from his defense and was forced to clear long. The ball found the feet of Sascha Moelders who ran unmarked into the penalty area.Augsburg defender Uwe Moehrle was the only player with a chance of covering but his clumsy barge into the onrushing forward meant that he gave away a clear penalty and received the honour of being the first player to enter the referees´ book. The penalty was taken by Gjasula who struck it right-footed, low and left to open the scoring.
It was a shock to everyone to find the home side one goal down but to their credit they stayed patient and continued to press from the restart. Their reward was an equalizer in the 14th minute. Some silky smooth footwork from Bellinghausen who drifted in from the left found Nando waiting middle of the area, his first time pass found Thurk who had made a run on the left and his left footed shot across the keeper flew into the goal put bring Augsburg back on level terms.
Thurk then proceeded to miss a whole host of good chances as Augsburg created an abundance of scoring opportunities. Bellinghausen and De Jong linked up together perfectly to give the opposing full back a truly torrid time for the entire game.
Honours were even at the half time whistle and for Augsburg the game plan would remain the same for the 2nd half. Frankfurt would come back out and continue to give the same lackluster performance from a team that lay mid-table and playing only for pride.
It was clear to see in the early stages of the 2nd half that the tempo had been dialed down a touch. More football was being played in the middle of the park and although not particularly pretty to watch, Augsburg proved that they could boss the middle as well as the wide areas.
Augsburg pressed and pressed with ease, recording 13 goal attempts and winning a total of 14 corners compared with just 1 for their counterparts. Augsburg seemed to be able to put the ball from their set pieces directly on the heads of their teammates as if they were using a kind of military guidance system.
Thurk again missed what was effectively an open goal in the 49th minute, guiding the ball over the crossbar from 2 yards out at the far post. Quite how an experienced player like him could miss is anyone´s guess when it would have been easier to score! An incredible miss.
Frankfurt´s best chance came just after the hour mark when a defensive header from Gibril Sankoh was knocked backwards and left Moelders one on one with Simon Jentzsch in the Augsburg goal. Jentzsch got down quickly to save from close range and keep his team in the match.
How Augsburg will fare in the top flight is the question on everyone lips. They have a good young crop of talented and hard working players that should cut the mustard and compete at the higher level. Perhaps a player from the Michael Ballack mould would be a useful acquisition to their youthful midfield though?
Whatever happens they will enjoy the ride next season. Very well done to FC Augsburg for a fully deserved win today and for having a sensational season where they have truly exceeded everyone´s expectations.
Nuremberg host Augsburg while Bayern Munich travel to take on Kaiserslautern
Munich - Over the past season, the Bundesliga top flight has only had two Bavarian Derby matches per season. With the promotion of FC Augsburg, that number will triple this season. And the first one is this weekend, as the Augsburg side will travel to northern Bavaria (known as Franconia) to take on 1.FC Nürnberg.
Both teams started off the season well, Nuremberg with a 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin in week 1 and Augsburg two draws in their first matches in the top flight. Since then, three confidence...
Munich - Two games into their debut season in Germany's premier league and FC Augsburg remain unbeaten. The two points earned so far is the reward for the stalemate at home to Sport-Club Freiburg on the opening weekend, and away to Kaiserslautern last weekend. Further encouragement will be garnered by the fact they have scored 3 goals already and are putting up a real fight against more fancied sides.
This weekend sees head coach Jos Luhukay's side take on 1899 Hoffenheim who upset the bookmakers last weekend by beating the defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund at home by a...
Weekend wrap of local football action
Munich - If you listen carefully, that sound from the west is the city of Augsburg partying throughout the night and into the morning after their 2-1 pressure packed victory that earned them promotion into the Bundesliga for next season.
But they are not the only club celebrating a move up. Bayern Munich have their eyes set on improving their finish after clinching a spot in the Champions League. SpVgg Greuther Fürth have one more weekend to play for promotion. Here's your quick weekend wrap.
Bayern blowout St. Pauli, clinch Champions League berth -...
Munich - It's Labor Day in Europe and the local football teams all put in an honest effort. FC Bayern rolled over FC Schalke 4-1 at the Allianz Arena Saturday afternoon, but they were not the only hardworking Munich or Bavarian football team this weekend. Here's your football wrap.
TSV 1860 München 2, Hertha BSC Berlin 1 - It's been a season of trials and tribulations - on and off the pitch - for the Lions. But this recent stretch and the match on Friday makes one wonder what could have been this season.
Defenders Necat Aygün and Stefan Buck scored in the second half as 1860 came from...
Der Club move up table while Bayern gaining momentum in Bundesliga
easyCredit Stadium, Nuremberg - Alexander Esswein came into the match in the 60th minute and minutes later scored the only goal in the first Bavarian Derby of the Bundesliga season, as 1.FC Nürnberg beat FC Augsburg 1-0.
In a match void of any offensive flow, Esswein made a run on the left side, with some fancy dribbling turning around the defender Gibril Sankoh, created some space, and beat Augsburg goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch to the far post in the 76th minute.
"I am elated to have made that goal," said Esswein about his...
SGL Arena, Augsburg - FC Augsburg 07 went down 2-0 against a very well organised Hoffenheim outfit. Ryan Babel opened the scoring after just 5 minutes with a clinical strike on the edge of the penalty area after a mazy run. He coolly slotted the ball in low across goalkeeper Simon Jentzsch.
Augsburg were awarded a penalty in the 58th minute that Sascha Mölders took far too casually and was saved easily by Tom Starke who correctly guessed the direction to save it. At the other end Hoffenheim were also gifted a second-half penalty which Sejad Salihovic neatly tucked away for the...
Bundesliga 2nd Division Wrap
False start for 1860 There were great expectations for TSV 1860 München but the team fell short in the first match of the season against Eintracht Braunschweig with the result of 3-1.
The game started with a shock for the Munich Lions as Braunschweig scored in the 6th minute thanks to a header from the captain Dennis Kruppke, which allowed the loud home crowd to celebrate immediately. The long-praised defensive strength that 1860 displayed during the entire preseason vanished so quickly at the beginning of their first match.
After the goal Munich started to...
Local teams to fight for season and regional supremacy
Munich - Saving a season. The final derby. Earning a promotion. It's come down to the final two matches. It's crunch time.
Here's a quick preview of the biggest matches in Bavaria this weekend and the implications:
FC Bayern München at St. Pauli, Saturday, 15:30 - After losing every chance at hardware this season, FC Bayern Munich are scrambling for the last Champions League spot for the Bundesliga. After last week's win and Hanover's loss, the Reds hold a two point lead and have a +30 goal differential advantage. All Bayern...
Munich - This is the part of the season when teams feel the end is near. Either its been mediocre and both players and fans just want to end it now, take a summer break and hope next year is better. Or teams can feel the pressure of a whole season's worth of work going down in flames in just a few matches.
The Munich and regional football teams are involved in some pivotal matches this weekend, making me wish Labor Day was on a Monday to give us time to watch all the action. Here's your preview.
TSV 1860 München at Hertha BSC Berlin, Friday 18:00 - Hertha will earn...
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