“We face different opponents with different qualities.”

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Germany: Bundesliga

Augsburg F. Niederlechner (73)

WWK ArenaFull time1-4

FC Köln J. Thielmann (12), M. Uth (15), A. Modeste (Pen. 63), A. Modeste (77)

By Peter Vice

FC Augsburg had hoped to deliver their home fans another season of Bundesliga football on Saturday, just in time for the locals to celebrate their club at the famed spring “Augsburger Volksfestival”.

Instead, the mood at the WWK Arena was pretty somber after the Fuggerstädter dropped a 1-4 fixture against FC Köln. 

FCA trainer Markus Weinzierl seemed at a loss when attempting to explain his team’s inconsistencies. 

Markus Weinzierl.
Markus Weinzierl. Photo: Maerwa/CC-by-SA 3.0

The spring “Augsburger Plärrer” returned after a three-year COVID-enforced hiatus this year. Music. Beer gardens. Rides. All the conviviality of crowds once again able to congregate at the biggest fair in the Bavarian section of Swabia. With their destiny in their hands, local club FC Augsburg meant to make their contribution to the celebrations.

Prior to Saturday’s home match against Köln, FCA striker Michael Gregoritsch spoke of “tearing up the tents” after a big home victory. A win over the visiting cathedral city club would have guaranteed Augsburg their twelfth consecutive season of top flight football. It became clear fairly early that this wasn’t to be. The home team fell behind 0-2 to Köln inside of 15 minutes.

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“The first two goals were a back-breaker,” FCA trainer Markus Weinzierl remarked afterwards, “Then we offered up the opponent too much space and contested the duels poorly.”

Beyond this diagnosis, the FCA gaffer seemed at a loss for why his defensive line, which had performed so admirably away at Bochum last week, suddenly looked so amateurish against die Geißböcke.

“We face opponents with different qualities,” Wienzierl noted, “We have qualities ourselves, that sometimes bring better or worse outcomes on the pitch. It’s part of the game that sometimes things manifest for the better and sometimes for the worse.”

Such vagaries were truly all that the coach could offer up on his team’s inconsistencies. The definitive points remain elusive for the Fuggerstädter. On a weekend during which both Bochum and Wolfsburg celebrated their clinch of the class, Weinzierl’s side (which had beaten both of those teams in the past month) couldn’t reach their own mark.

It still seems likely that the Bavarian Swabians will remain in the league. It nearly happened on Saturday despite the loss. Had VfB Stuttgart not fought back to draw Wolfsburg 1-1, the FCA would have officially been safe. As it stands, they lie six points above Stuttgart in the relegation playoff place. Only one single solitary point over the next two rounds is needed to ensure survival.

“At the end of the say, one needs to achieve one’s goals,” Weinzierl said, “We still have that in our own hands over the next two weeks.”

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Augsburg visit Leipzig next week, then conclude the season by hosting the already relegated SpVgg Greuther Fürth on the final matchday.

Augsburg
(3-4-2-1)
1 R. Gikiewicz
2 R. Gumny ↪80
6 J. Gouweleeuw (C)
4 R. Oxford
20 D. Caligiuri ↪80
8 C. Gruezo ↪61
30 N. Dorsch
22 Iago ↪50
28 A. Hahn ↪61
16 R. Vargas
11 M. Gregoritsch
Bench
40 T. Koubek
7 F. Niederlechner ↩61
18 R. Pepi
27 A. Finnbogason ↩80
29 L. Günther
19 F. Uduokhai ↩50
32 R. Framberger ↩80
10 A. Maier ↩61
14 J. Morávek
FC Köln
(4-1-3-2)
20 M. Schwäbe
2 B. Schmitz
15 L. Kilian ↪84
4 T. Hübers
14 J. Hector (C)
28 E. Skhiri
7 D. Ljubicic
13 M. Uth ↪84
11 F. Kainz ↪71
29 J. Thielmann ↪71
27 A. Modeste ↪90
Bench
1 T. Horn
5 B. Arrey-Mbi
19 K. Ehizibue
23 J. Horn
24 J. Chabot ↩84
17 K. Schindler ↩90
21 L. Schaub ↩71
25 T. Lemperle ↩71
47 M. Olesen ↩84

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