By Jonathan Dicks
With rumors swirling around his future at the club, Augsburg goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz pieced together a world-class performance on Matchday 2.
Surrounded by reports that Augsburg desire to replace 34-year-old keeper Rafał Gikiewicz with Mainz’s Finn Dahmen as their new no. 1, the veteran put on an absolute clinic. Gikiewicz clearly heard those rumors loud and clear.
His stunning Matchday 2 performance single-handedly gave what’s supposedly a struggling Augsburg side, three massive away points against Leverkusen.
After suffering a 4-0 embarrassment against Freiburg to open the season at home, Gikiewicz looked like a completely different person this weekend. The veteran saved 9 out of 10 shots on target and turned on the jets with Leverkusen circling, as they geared up to bombard Augsburg’s goal in the second half.
An incredible effort tipped Moussa Diaby’s shot over the bar in the 60th minute, in what’s already the save of the season. Another other-worldly save came just a minute later, as Gikiewicz blocked Sardar Azmoun’s header. But, as Leverkusen continued to poke and prod through Augsburg’s defense, it felt certain they would come away with at least one point.
That was not the case.
Gikiewicz was at it again in the 73rd and 86th minutes, somehow saving shots from pinpoint range. Augsburg escaped with a 2-1 victory, solely due to his heroics in those final tense moments. Even without the dream fantasy scenario of a penalty save, Gikiewicz’s 12 fantasy points surprised owners with a massive haul.
His spot in the starting lineup may be safe after all.