Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(0 - 0)
Union Berlin
P. Tietz (47), S. Michel (81)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Thorup praises Breithaupt for seizing opportunity as a starter

FC Augsburg trainer Jess Thorup reserved special praise for the performance of midfielder Tim Breithaupt after last night's massive home win. 

A 2-0 victory over visiting 1. FC Union Berlin last night placed FC Augsburg in an excellent position to secure European football next season. Jess Thorup's Fuggerstädter move up to seventh place in the table with the victory and are likely to maintain the UEFA Europa Conference League playoff place through the end of the weekend. Fellow European aspirants SC Freiburg and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim can draw level with the Bavarian Swabians on points, but are unlikely to overtake the FCA on goal differential. 

Of great significance, Augsburg have moved within three points of Eintracht Frankfurt for the second Europa League place. Should Dino Toppmöller's side lose to Stuttgart in the "Top-Spiel" later this evening, Thorup's side even have the chance to catch up with the SGE in a direct duel next week. Augsburg beat Frankfurt 2-1 at home back in the Hin-runde The FCA trainer expressed excitement about facing Frankfurt in his post-match interview with German broadcaster DAZN last night, while also acknowledging that his team had plenty of work to do. 

"There's nothing better for a coach to get a win on Friday evening and watch the other teams over the weekend," Thorup said in his interview, "If you look at the full 90 minutes, [however], we can clearly play better football. The game wasn't that good." 

Hosting Augsburg did indeed produce absolutely nothing offensively over the initial 45 minutes. Moreover, both FCA goals came courtesy of Union passing errors. FCU defender Diogo Leite gifted Philipp Tietz the 1-0 with a wayward pass out of the back. Sven Michel's 2-0 came courtesy of a passing error from Alex Kral. Augsburg remained in the game solely thanks to heroic defending from center backs Jeffery Gouweleeuw and Felix Uduokhai. Sweeper Tim Breithaupt - in just his third start of the season - also contributed some massive tackles and clearances. 

Thorup singled Breithaupt out for praise whilst speaking to the DAZN microphones. The 22-year-old himself conducted a euphoric post-match interview. Both player and coach were elated that the problematic gap posed by the absence of the injured Kristijan Jakic was more than adequately closed. The hitherto sparsely used summer signing stepped into the breach to help his team out tremendously. Thorup will certainly be hoping that the former KSC star can keep it up in the coming weeks. 

"I'm delighted to have played from the start today," Breithaupt said, "I left my heart out on the pitch. We kept a clean sheet at home. Now it's off to Frankfurt!"

"That was super from Breithaupt," Thorup added, "The way he's prepared himself in the last weeks and months for the chance he's now been given is incredible." 

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