First win of the season for Maaßen’s men
Captain Ermedin Demirović was the hero on matchday 5 of the Bundesliga, scoring twice to earn FC Augsburg their first victory of the season. Despite having only ten men for the final half an hour, Enrico Maaßen’s were able to hold firm and secure a 2-1 win against 1. FSV Mainz 05.
The head coach made four changes to the side that started last weekend’s 3-0 defeat in Leipzig. Arne Engels, Philipp Tietz, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Iago all came into the line-up, while there was also returns to the matchday squad for Sven Michael, Tim Breithaupt and Nathanaël Mbuku.
The aim for the third home match of the season was clear. However, it wasn’t just Augsburg who needed the three points to kick-start their campaign: bottom side Mainz were also desperate to end their losing streak and came flying out the blocks at the WWK ARENA. Danny Da Costa’s cross in the sixth minute was met powerfully in the air by Ludovic Ajorque to put the visitors into an early 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, the ball was in the back of the Augsburg goal once again, after Stefan Bell forced the ball over the line following a free-kick. However, the defender was ruled offside after a VAR review and the goal was chalked off (12’). FCA were keen to make the most of the let-off and quickly set about getting back into the game. A long ball forward was flicked on by Tietz towards Vargas, before it somewhat fortuitously dropped to Ermedin Demirović to poke home and level the scores with the club’s 500th Bundesliga goal (15’).
The goalmouth action slowed down a little after the equaliser, although there was no drop in intensity when it came to challenges. That was certainly true of Patric Pfeiffer in the 45th minute. Not only did he win the first header from a long throw into the Mainz box, but he also rose highest to nod the second ball goalwards too. Demirović reacted quickest, leaving Zentner no chance with his header from six yards to complete his brace and the turnaround.
There were no changes at the break, and Maaßen’s side continued to look a threat in their hunt for a maiden victory. A third FCA goal seemed more likely than a fightback from Mainz – until the hour mark that is. Engels caught Aymen Barkok’s shin after going in for a tackle and although he was only shown yellow initially, the video assistant recommended referee Marco Fritz give a straight red card instead (62’). Maaßen reacted with a double change, bringing on Michel and Breithaupt for Tietz and Vargas just moments before Gouweleeuw had to clear a header off the line to keep Augsburg ahead (68’).
FCA’s back-line continued to be alert to any danger and provide solid resistance to a frustrated Mainz attack. Former 05er Finn Dahmen only had to intervene in the 90th minute, dealing with a deflected shot from Gruda well. When Ajorque then inadvertently redirected a strike from Edimilson Fernandes off course, it seemed that luck was well and truly on FCA’s side. Nevertheless, the relief was palpable when referee Fritz blew the final whistle in the eighth minute of stoppage time to confirm Augsburg’s long awaited first win of the season.