Bundesliga matchday 29 kicked-off on Friday with Augsburg and VfB Stuttgart playing out a 1-1 draw at the WWK Arena. A first-half header from Dion Beljo put the Fuggerstädter into a deserved lead, but a much improved Stuttgart finally equalised in the 78th minute with Wataru Endo bundling home a scrappy goal. Here are five takeaways from Friday’s match.
1. A point does neither side any favours
It was honours even between FCA and the Swabians, but neither side will be particularly happy with a solitary point bearing in mind their current situation. Augsburg are a little too close to the drop zone for comfort and without a few more three pointers, are in danger of being dragged into the relegation fight. Hoffenheim could climb above them tomorrow, while Bochum could potentially move level on points with a win this weekend.
Stuttgart were ecstatic with their point against Borussia Dortmund last week, but they need to start getting some wins if they are to claw their way to safety, The point tonight, while better than a loss, doesn’t help them climb out of the bottom three and ups the pressure ahead of next week’s home clash with Mönchengladbach.
2. Augsburg’s Friday luck runs out
Until Wataru Endo’s equaliser Augsburg were on course for their fourth successive win this season on a Friday night. Enrico Maaßen’s side had beaten Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim this season under the floodlights on a Friday, but their winning run was ended as they couldn’t add to their first half goal and conceded late on.
3. Ugly? Yes. Important? Very
Japanese midfielder Wataru Endo had scored ten Bundesliga goals prior to tonight, but few would have been as ugly as the one he scrambled in past Tomas Koubek. His scuffed shot inside the six yard box was initially saved in an unorthodox fashion by the Augsburg keeper, but Endo was on hand to hack in the loose ball. Ugly goals still count, and come the end of the season, it could potentially end up being a vitally important goal should the Swabians stay up.
4. Who bet on a draw?
Anyone betting on the match ending in a draw surely hadn’t read the form book on this fixture, but they would nonetheless won their wager. In twenty previous Bundesliga encounters between the two sides there had only ever been one previous draw, making tonight’s stalemate quite a change from the norm.
5. No Berisha, no party
Stuttgart were poor in the first half, although they did offer a lot more in the second 45 minutes. Looking back on the game, Augsburg will regret not punishing their visitors more when they had the chance. Key goal scorer Mergim Berisha is still on the sidelines with an ankle problem and his absence was sorely felt. The absence of captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw in defence was also a blow to the home side tonight.