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Augsburg fights for Europe after Bundesliga win against Union Berlin

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Augsburg fights for Europe after Bundesliga win against Union Berlin

After a blackout by Union Berlin’s Diogo Leite, FC Augsburg has submitted in the fight for Europe. Thanks to the 2-0 (0-0) home win on Friday evening, football coach Jess Thorup’s team temporarily reduced the gap to sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt to just three points.

At the same time, Augsburg, in seventh place, extended their lead over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SC Freiburg to three points. If the as-good-as-champions Bayer Leverkusen also win the DFB Cup, seventh place will also be enough for the Europa Conference League playoffs.

Union Berlin often presented itself as determined on the offensive. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to finally defeat Augsburg in the eighth Bundesliga game in a row. Diogo Leite played a significant role in this, whose failed back pass was used by Phillip Tietz (47th) to score the redeeming FCA goal in front of 29,731 spectators. Joker Sven Michel, who used to play for Union, made everything clear in the 81st minute. With a further six points lead over relegation place 16, the Berliners remain in the fight against relegation.

In the absence of the injured right-backs Kevin Mbabu and Robert Gumny, Jess Thorup initially opted for an experiment with a three-man defense in the 3-1 defeat against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim a week ago. There was no sign of that against Union. From kick-off, Maximilian Bauer, a trained central defender, occupied the right flank.

The Augsburg team, who were also missing the injured Kristijan Jakic, Iago and Fredrik Jensen, initially got themselves into trouble against one of the Bundesliga’s weakest offensive teams. Defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw missed a long ball, goalkeeper Finn Dahmen had to sprint out of the goal and save from Union’s Benedict Hollerbach (12th). This scene only raised the pulse of the Augsburg fans for a very short time.

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The Berliners tried to get to the top quickly and directly. And coach Nenad Bjelica’s team always managed this surprisingly well. After a combination via Hollerbach and Mikkel Kaufmann, Alex Kral (26th) slid past a cross by just a few centimeters and was ready to take a shot.

And the Augsburg people? They lacked courage in the first half. They developed neither speed nor force when moving forward. They ended the first 45 minutes without a shot on goal.

Augsburg had Leite to thank for their dream start to the second half. The central defender played a back pass straight into Tietz’s feet without any pressure. The former Darmstadt player scored his eighth goal of the season. However, FC Augsburg did not gain any security after the opening goal. Michel, who was just not offside, at least made things clear late on, according to video evidence.

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