Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(0 - 1)
F. Uduokhai (72), A. Engels (81)
V. Grifo (19)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Augsburg snap long losing streak against Freiburg with comeback win

FC Augsburg were able to turn the tables on visiting SC Freiburg in the 2023/24 German Bundesliga's Round 23 capper on Sunday night. The Bavarian Swabians rise to 11th place in the table with their sixth win of the season.

A 2-1 comeback victory over the Breisgauer hands the Fuggerstädter their first win over the SCF since 2018. The FCA snap a six-match losing streak against one of their big "bogey teams" with the result. 
Perhaps a little emotionally and creatively tired following their spectacular comeback in the UEL on Thursday night, Christian Streich's SC Freiburg were unable to maintain an early lead against FC Augsburg on Sunday night at the WWK Arena. In the official capper to the 2023/24 German Bundesliga's 23rd match-day, Jess Thorup's FCA were able to turn the tables on their guest and earn just their second win in their last ten Bundesliga fixtures. A 2-1 win constitutes the first time Augsburg have beaten Freiburg since 2018.

SCF trainer Streich made three changes to the XI that started the Thursday Europa League K.O. fixture against Lens. Kiliann Sildillia and Roland Sallai returned to the bench, replaced by Michael Gregortisch and Vincenzo Grifo. Streich's Breisgauer were buttressed by the return of Christian Günter to the starting blocks. The skipper - out with a fractured forearm since match-day one - started at left back over Jordy Makengo. FCA trainer Thorup made two changes, rotating in Fredrik Jensen over Arne Engels. Maximilian Bauer also replaced the suspended Jeffery Gouweleeuw in central defense.

The Bavarian hosts nearly got matters off to a perfect start when fullback Iago struck the post in the 3rd. The Brazilian had Breisgauer keeper Noah Atubolu beaten, yet couldn't get a proper shot off whilst being hassled by Ritsu Doan. Some ten minutes later, the Fuggerstädter had another wonderful chance to score when a miscommunication between Doan and Atubolu left the ball unclaimed in the penalty area. No FCA actors were available to pounce and Doan was eventually able to clear.

Despite not being the stronger team, Freiburg were gifted the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot when Jensen fouled Grifo in the box in the 17th. Grifo took the spot kick himself to give the Badener guests the lead. Thorup's side pressed hard in search of an equalizer, but frequently ran into some slapstick plays in the final third. The first half thus concluded with Freiburg in the lead. Streich's crew - being forced into a tactical adjustment when Lukas Kübler had to leave the pitch injured in the 37th - were content to remain passive.

The Breisgauer passivity carried over after the restart. The hosts steadily increased the intensity of their attack waves. Substitutes Engels and Arne Maier - both introduced in the 56th - made a massive impact. Maier crossed into the box for striker Philipp Tietz in the 72nd. Though SCF keeper Atubolu was initially able to parry Tietz's header, Felix Uduokhai was on hand to poke home the rebound. Within a few minutes, the Bavarian Swabians had the lead.

Engels scurried past Nicolas Höfler and then beat his SCF marker with a nutmeg finish on the 2-1 in the 81st. Setting up Engels was none other than FCA riser Ermedin Demirovic with a fine solo run. Full of confidence, the hosts never relinquished control after that. With disciplined defending, Thorup's side sealed the result in style.

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