FC Augsburg 2-3 Athletic Bilbao: Dramatic turnaround steals the win late on for Spaniards
Image credit: kicker

Despite trailing heading into the final 10 minutes, a late Aduriz double secured all three points for Athletic Bilbao against FC Augsburg.

Susaeta shows his class

Augsburg began well and were relatively untroubled against their Spanish opponents. Alexander Esswein, their main attacking outlet, almost took everyone by disguise when a volleyed cross caught everyone by surprise. His cross-cum-shot nearly found a way inside the near post, though Iago Herrerín managed to scramble the ball away.

In spite of that chance, it was largely comfortable for both sides. That was until Susaeta picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, and shifted it from underneath his feet after collecting a long throw before rifling a swerving drive into the bottom corner. The slippery conditions helped his drive - which skidded off the surface and into the near post area - catch Marwin Hitz off guard.

Hosts battle back to level

To their credit, Augsburg battled back into the game and could have equalised immediately had it not been for some staunch defensive work from their opponents. Christoph Janker twice fired the ball at goal in an almighty scramble, but was denied by Herrerín and then blocked again on the line by a Bilbao defender.

The hosts continued to come forward in the hope of getting a goal back, and they did just that before the break. After some pinball around the Athletic area, the ball broke kindly for Piotr Trochowski. He quickly turned and shot on the spin, catching a lucky deflection off of Aymeric Laporte and the ball flew into the top corner. It may have been rather fortunate, but it was fully deserved.

It was late, but great, for Bilbao. (Image credit: kicker)
It was late, but great, for Bilbao. (Image credit: kicker)

Augsburg edge ahead

The start of the second half saw a light dusting of snow cover the pitch, in a match that seemed to be doing its utmost to cycle through four seasons in one evening. With the snow came an Augsburg attack that should have seen them go ahead. Ji-Dong Won broke clear of the Bilbao back-line before rounding Herrerín, only to see Laporte make a remarkable covering challenge.

Markus Weinzierl's men would not be denied, however, and took the lead soon after. Ji's persistence paid off as he bulled his way through the opposition before getting into shooting range on the edge of the area. The South Korean's shot should have been routine for Herrerín but he spilled the ball up into the air, and Raul Bobadilla gleefully headed the ball over him to fully turn the game around.

Audriz breaks Augsburg hearts

The home side were looking comfortable going into the last ten minutes, but there would be a sting in the tail. Ander Iturraspe burst down the right and managed to dig out a great cross towards the back post, where the quiet Audriz popped up to head home unmarked. The questions were asked of who was picking up who in the box, but it made very little difference to the jubilant Spaniards.

They were happy to just be level and back in the match, though one final goal went the way of the Basque outfit to end Augsburg dreams. Inaki Williams turned provider for Audriz this time, as the promising youngster slid the ball across the face of goal and gave the star striker an opportunity he couldn't pass up. Bilbao had secured victory, although Augsburg knew just how close they had come to a famous win.

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