Path to Promotion

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Sun 4th Sep, 2011

Augsburg display dominance in win, prepare for Bundesliga

impuls Arena, Augsburg - FC Augsburg took a major step towards promotion to the Bundesliga with a dominating 2-0 win over Red-White Oberhausen.

First time captain Paul Verhaegh scored the opening goal of the match, blasting a laser shot past the goalkeeper in the 21st minute.  It was the Dutch native's first goal since joining the team eight months ago.

Axel Bellinghausen put the finishing touch on the match in the 55th minute, when he took a ball that missed teammate Torsten Oehrl from Marcel Ndjeng's flanker and provided the winning margin.

"Our team concentrated and was disciplined throughout the match, a few more goals were missing," said Augsburg head coach Jos Luhukay.  "But I'm satisfied with the result, the atmosphere from the fans was fantastic - overall a great weekend for us."

The first half saw Augsburg dominate the action and it showed it in the stats.  A little more than 65% possession led to 12 shots on goal and 3-0 advantage on corners.  The home side could not convert any of their close chances, until Verhaegh took a pass from Ndjeng and ripped a cracker past a diving Sören Pirson.

RWO could only get one shot in the opening half, when Patrick Schönfeld's beautifully placed pass in the 38th minute found Ronny König streaking to the goal.  But Jentzch jumped in front of the shot and stopped the only chance for the visitors.

The soldout crowd of over 30,000 were treated to back-and-forth action in the second half, but FCA still controlling the match.  But the match was not decided until Bellinghausen's goal.

"The way the match developed, it was important to get that second goal to not allow Oberhausen back in the match," described Luhukay on the final goal.

"Perhaps the one negative aspect of the match, we should have won 3-, 4-0," said scorer Bellinghausen.  "The chances were there to score a lot of goals."

The win give FCA 54 points and now sit 2 points behind Hertha Berlin for the top spot in the second division.  Both teams are on track for promotion for the top flight.  So the question after such a dominating display:  are Augsburg ready for the Bundesliga?

Oberhausen head coach Theo Schneider thinks so. "They are playing to get into the 1st league, we are playing to prevent dropping into the 3rd division, the difference between the two clubs was apparent on the pitch."

Luhukay takes a conservative approach.  "I don't know if I can answer that now, we have to continue to work each week and then prepare for the Bundesliga after the season."

But asking the players, they would like to play tomorrow.  "We are one of the top teams in the second Bundesliga, we play with a lot of confidence," said Verhaegh about the chances of promotion.  "Over the past couple of months, we have only lost 1 match.  We have 7 matches left, and hopefully we can get ready for the Bundesliga."

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