FC Augsburg’s hopes of reaching the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League hang in the balance following a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Athletic Club at the WWK Arena.
Augsburg got off to a dreadful start as Bilbao took an early lead through Markel Susaeta’s 20-yard drive. Markus Weinzierl’s men responded well to that setback, however. Christoph Janker saw an effort cleared off the line, before Piotr Trochowski’s deflected strike levelled matters late in the half.
Die Fuggerstädter went up a gear in the second period, with Dong-Won Ji rounding the keeper only to have the ball taken off his toe at the last. Augsburg looked to have done enough for the win when substitute Raul Bobadilla expertly headed home after Bilbao goalkeeper Iago Herrerin could only parry from Ji, but Artiz Aduriz netted twice late on to take the visitors through to the Round of 32.
Man of the match
Ji was virtually anonymous in the first half, but his touch, energy and endeavour were integral to Augsburg’s mini revival at the start of the second half.
After throwing the points away against Bilbao, Augsburg must now win their final group game away to second-placed FK Partizan Belgrade by at least to goals to qualify for the last 32.
- Augsburg hit the target with four of their 11 attempts on goal.
- Augsburg completed 430 of their 534 attempted passes.
Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh (c.), Janker, Klavan, Stafylidis - Baier - Kohr - Esswein (Koo 76’), Trochowski (Caiuby 56’), Ji - Halil Altintop (Bobadilla 56’)
Bilbao: Iago Herrerin - Boveda, Gurpegi (c.), Laporte, Balenziaga - Mikel Rico, Sane Jose (Iturraspe 73’) - M. Susaeta, Sabin (Williams 58’) - Eraso - Aduriz