Kevin Danso earned FC Augsburg a point against Borussia Dortmund, who failed to build on an early goal from Marco Reus.
Reus’s second goal in two Bundesliga games was about all they could create in the first half, and after sending several warnings Augsburg levelled after Danso was left unmarked to score from a corner.
The point puts Dortmund a point clear of Schalke 04 in second, but it was not a result or performance to warm the sparser-than-usual crowd in sub-zero temperatures.
Reus combines again with Götze and Schürrle
On a freezing night in Dortmund, Signal Iduna Park was not its usual raucous self with thousands of fans boycotting the game in protest over the introduction of Monday night Bundesliga games. The official attendance in the end of this match was 54,300, compared the usual 81,000.
On the field, Peter Stöger made four changes from the UEFA Europa League match against Atalanta, with Marcel Schmelzer, Julian Weigl, Gonzalo Castro and Marco Reus returning. Following their 1-0 defeat to VfB Stuttgart, Augsburg recalled Jan Morávek and Jonathan Schmid to their starting line-up.
Those who had stayed away did not miss much from the opening 15 minutes, bar an early shot that deflected wide from André Schürrle, but just as they had against Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend, the trio of Mario Götze, Schürrle and Reus teamed up to give Dortmund the lead. Reus started the move, through Götze to Schürrle, whose attempted cross was intercepted by Martin Hinteregger. He couldn’t get the ball clear enough though, as it held up in the pitch, and Reus came and placed the ball over him into the back of the net.
Dortmund controlled possession after the goal, but a little unnerved by the subdued atmosphere around them, or perhaps just playing cautiously, they weren’t taking the attack to Augsburg as much as they might have been expected to. In fact the goal was the only shot on target that they managed in the first 45 minutes.
Augsburg weren’t willing to waste any sight of goal that they had. Either side of the Dortmund goal, Michael Gregoritsch had several opportunities but only one needed saving by Roman Bürki¸ who also denied Raphael Framberger and, from a free-kick just before the break, Schmid. Philipp Max also put in one of his dangerous crosses from the left, however Schmelzer did enough to contain the attacker in the box.
Danso makes Dortmund pay for lack of creativity
Dortmund couldn’t get going after half-time, and sensing that, Augsburg became increasingly confident going forward. One cross, once more from Max, came very close to producing the equaliser, with Schmid’s glancing header wide of the post, with Bürki possibly struggling to get there, whilst they kept putting in dangerous balls from both sides of the pitch.
Slowly Dortmund did try to work a second goal, without much luck. Mahmoud Dahoud wasn’t worrying Hitz with a shot wide after a good move from Dortmund, but the Augsburg goalkeeper looked beaten by a Schürrle effort, but he was wide as well. At the other end Caiuby went wide after mistake from Julian Weigl, as die Fuggerstädter kept looking for an equaliser.
They eventually got it from a Schmid corner, and it was difficult to argue that they didn’t deserve to be level. He found Danso, who had managed to completely shake off any markers, but his header was blocked by Bürki. No-one had still picked up the 19-year-old defender as the rebound came back to him, and he had an easy tap in for just his second Augsburg goal.
Predictably enough, that triggered an increase on urgency from Dortmund. Dahoud had a couple of chances, with his connection with a Götze free-kick put wide by Hitz before shooting over, whilst in between Michy Batshuayi also struck over, on the turn, after Dahoud and Schmelzer had taken air shots at the ball coming in.
Those in the ground were getting frustrated, but there was to be no late drama to halt the whistles at the end of the game, with the chance to go three points clear in second missed by Dortmund. Tough games against RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt await them. Augsburg will be more than happy with a point that moves them up to eighth.