FC Augsburg came from behind to claim a potentially priceless 2-1 win in a thrilling encounter at relegation rivals SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 29.
The importance of the game to both sides was clear early on, with caution the watchword in the opening stages. Neither Bremen nor Augsburg were willing to give anything away, and although the hosts were on top, goalscoring chances were at a premium until the half-hour mark. Thereafter, Die Grün-Weißen began to up the ante, with Anthony Ujah threatening, before Florian Grillitsch beat Marwin Hitz from the edge of the box to give Bremen a deserved lead two minutes before the break.
After a more enterprising start to the second period, Augsburg pulled level in the 53rd minute when Alfred Finnbogason converted Caiuby's fine cross past Felix Wiedwald. The Iceland international came close again ten minutes later, although this time he was denied by Wiedwald, before Philipp Max was called into an acrobatic goal-line clearance at the other end. That Bremen effort aside, the visitors remained in control in the closing stages, and scored a merited winner when substitute Jeong-Ho Hong poked home from close-range with his first touch of the game with only three minutes remaining.
Man of the match
This was another impressive, hard-working performance from Finnbogason. Although quiet in the first-half, the winter arrival burst into life in the second period and could have added another goal after his opener.
Augsburg's fine second-half display will give them plenty of confidence for the run-in. Markus Weinzierl's men - who still have to face VfB Stuttgart, 1. FC Köln and Hamburger SV before the season is out - were attacking, positive and created several good chances in the second half, eventually running out deserved winners.
- Bremen became the first side this season to stop Augsburg having a shot in the first half-hour.
- Grillitsch's goal was his first-ever in the Bundesliga.
- Finnbogason netted his fourth goal in only nine Bundesliga appearances.
- Hong scored with his first touch of the game.
Werder Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Galvez, - Fritz (c), Grillitsch (Kleinheisler, 81') - Öztunali (Yatabre, 61'), Junuzovic, Bartels (Lorenzen, 88') - Ujah
Coach: Viktor Skripnik
Augsburg: Hitz - Opare, Gouweleeuw, Klavan, Max - Janker (Hong, 86'), Baier (c) - Esswein (Bobadilla, 38'), Altintop, Caiuby - Finnbogason (Werner, 80')
Coach: Markus Weinzierl