FC Augsburg made history in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night, getting the 3-1 win away to Partizan Belgrade they needed to make it three Bundesliga sides out of three progressing to the last 32.
Goals: 1-0 Oumaru (11'), 1-1 Hong (45+2), 1-2 Verhaegh (51'), 1-3 Bobadilla (89')
Needing to score three and win by a two-goal margin, Augsburg were understandably on the front foot from the get-go. This carried its risks, though, and the first mistake was punished. Tim Matavz lost possession, allowing Aboubakar Oumaru to race clear and fire the hosts ahead. To their credit, Augsburg did not let their heads drop and their persistence paid off in first-half stoppage time when Jeong-Ho Hong headed them level from Piotr Trochowski's cross.
Trochowski rifled an effort inches wide early in the second half, leaving no doubt about Augsburg's intentions. And they hammered that home moments later when captain Verhaegh tucked Daniel Baier's pass under Zivko Zivkovic to take the Fuggerstädter to within a goal of qualification. Andrija Zivkovic rattled the crossbar at the other end as Augsburg rode their luck in pursuit of that crucial goal, and Caiuby nearly found it. Zivkovic was sent off with ten minutes to go and Augsburg's final flourish paid off, Bobadilla netting one of the most valuable goals in the Bundesliga club's history just a minute from time.
Man of the match
Trochowski was Augsburg's most experience campaigner in Europe, winning the Europa League with Sevilla FC in 2013/14, and he brought this winning mentality to the table on Thursday night. His assist gave Augsburg hope before the break, while he was always snapping away at the Partizan players' heels and peppering Zivko Zivkovic's goal with shots, emitting an infectious hunger for victory and qualification.
With his six goals in the Europa League this season, Bobadilla is blazing a trail as one of Europe's most prolific scorers. His sixth could not have been timed any better either, coming as it did a minute from what would have otherwise been the end of Augsburg's European campaign.
- Verhaegh's goal was his first in European club competition
- Bobadilla is now the joint top scorer in the Europa League this season with six.
Partizan: Zivkovic - Fabricio, Bandalovski, Cirkovic, Subic (64' Petrovic) - Jevtovic, Babovic (c) - Zivkovic, Brasanac, Ninkovic (83' Grbic) - Oumaru
Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh (c), Callsen-Bracker (40' Hong), Janker, Stafylidis (80' Max) - Baier - Bobadilla, Trochowski, Koo (61' Caiuby), Ji – Matavz