2-2: Augsburg cancel out Bender and Sahin strikes for BVB
Borussia Dortmund failed to start the second half of the season with a win. On Matchday 18 of the Bundesliga season, BVB drew 2-2 (1-0) with FC Augsburg, nonetheless it did mark the tenth season on the trot when BVB have not been beaten at the start of a new year.
Boris Rupert reports from the Signal Iduna Park
The footballing Mecca on the Strobelallee was packed to capacity as 80,645 witnessed a BVB performance of utter dominance save for two moments, two moments that ultimately cost them a victory. Goals from Bender (5mins) and Sahin (66mins) were thus only enough to win one point. However the point was enough to see BVB climb back into third spot in the table, the spot which secures automatic Champions League qualification.
Fourth versus eighth. Before the game just eight points and four places separated Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg, a team that had won 11 from a possible 15 points from their last games prior to the winter break. Tis rounded off the club’s best-ever start to a Bundesliga season. On the other hand BVB have a better record against FC Augsburg than against any other Bundesliga team averaging 2.6 points per game.
The unwell Durm joined long-term absentees Subotic, Hummels and Gündogan as the only players unavailable for selection. Bender moved to centre back with Sahin and Kehl playing the holding roles in midfield. In the attacking three in midfield Kuba replaced Aubameyang whilst the visitors had to do without Philp, Moravek and Ekin.
Augsburg were very disciplined in their 4-1-4-1 set up with Baier in front of the back four but when in possession sought to show variety and surprise. BVB played high up the field seeking to gain possession quickly often pushing Augsburg deep into their own half.
The Game and Analysis:
The game started with an immediate moment of horror as Kuba went down near the touchline having caught his studs in the grass and had to leave the field with what looked like it could be a cruciate injury.
Borussia did not let this disturb their rhythm with the visitors seeming to lose their way as a result of the stoppage. Reus, following a foul on him by Callsen-Bracker, quickly gathered the ball and struck a long free-kick into the box where Bender eluded the attentions of Ostrzolek to nod the ball past the less than well-positioned Hitz to give the home side the lead after just five minutes. BVB were actually down to ten men when this goal was scored with Aubameyang only joining the fray at the re-start.
BVB then proceeded to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but it was not until the 25th minute that the visitor’s goal was seriously threatened again when Lewandowski - always involved in everything good from BVB- tricked his way past Ostrzolek but could not beat Hitz. He was soon playing in Mkhitaryan only for the midfielder to fire his shot narrowly wide just before the half-hour mark. Borussia were pretty much encamped, playing one-twos in and around the FCA box.
Soon it was Augsburg’s turn to make a substitution with Milik replacing Altintop on 35 minutes. On the sideline their reserve ‘keeper kept himself warm as a result of Hitz seeming to have hurt himself in the kerfuffle around the opening goal.
Borussia’s aggressive style was causing Augsburg to make mistakes such as when, shortly before the break when Lewandowski’s charge-down of a Klavan clearance bounced into the path of Reus who instantly fired in a shot from twenty yards out only to see it flash narrowly wide. The final action of the half saw Verhaegh clear a Subotic header from the line and so, as the teams trooped off the statistics showed BVB had had 10-4 attempts with five chances to the visitor’s none.
BVB resumed at pace in the second half, too. A Großkreutz cross just skipped past the leg of Aubameyang, then Verhaegh cleared for a corner. But then, out of nothing, it was 1-1! A one-two between Verhaegh and Hahn saw the former through to cross low and hard across the goal. Bender, attempting to clear, could only turn the ball into his own net.
The Black n Yellows reacted well to this setback and it was not long before a delightful Sahin free-kick on 66 minutes had restored their lead. Hitz had no chance as Sahin got the ball up and down over the wall from some 23 yards out. But the joy was to be shortlived, indeed just six minutes later another Hahn cross found the soon-to-be BVB player Ji nod home at the near post to make it 2-2 on 72 minutes.
Borussia now set about trying to secure all three points. Aubameyang chased down a ball and crossed into the box where Lewandowski charged in to fire a fierce header just over. But Augsburg were now defending stoutly and it was not until the 86th minute that BVB could create their next and final chance when a Reus shot was batted away by Hitz.
Teams & Goals
Bundesliga, Matchday 18 BORUSSIA DORTMUND – FC AUGSBURG 2-2 (1-0)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Großkreutz, Bender, Sokratis, Schmelzer –Sahin, Kehl – Blaszczykowski, Mkhitaryan, Reus - Lewandowski FC Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Klavan, Ostrzolek - Baier - Hahn, Vogt, Altintop, Werner – Bobadilla Substitutions: 6. Aubameyang for Blaszczykowski, 84. Schieber for Mkhitaryan - 35. Milik for Altintop, 69. Ji for Bobadilla, 88. Hong for Milik Goals: 1-0 Bender (5., free-kick Reus), 1-1 Bender (56., own goal, Hahn), 2-1 Sahin (66., free-kick), 2-2 Ji (72., Hahn) Corners: 5-1 (HT 1-0), Chances: 9-2 (5-0) Referee: Welz (Wiesbaden), Yellow cards: Bender, Sokratis - Hahn, Werner Attendance: 80,645 (sold out), Weather: dry, 4 degrees Celsius
BVB now have three consecutive away games to deal with. On Friday they visit Eintracht Braunschweig (kick off 2030CET) and a week later they travel north again to play Bremen on Saturday 8 February (kick off 1530CET). On Tuesday 11 February, they then visit Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup (kick off 2045CET).