BERLIN (AP) — Alfred Finnbogason scored a hat trick in the snow to help Augsburg end its week of turmoil with a 3-0 win over Mainz in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Heavy snowfall failed to put the Iceland striker off as he converted two penalties awarded for handball in the first half, then sealed the result with his third goal early in the second.
The win, Augsburg’s first after a run of 10 games, lifted the side four points clear of the relegation zone, though Stuttgart could again reduce the gap to a point with a win over Freiburg in Sunday’s late game.
The victory will also ease the pressure on Augsburg coach Manuel Baum, who looked away as Finnbogason took his spot kicks, after a week in which his position was called into question – not least by his own defender Martin Hinteregger.
“I can’t say anything positive about him and also won’t say anything negative,” Hinteregger said of Baum after Augsburg’s 2-0 loss at Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend.
Hinteregger was promptly suspended and fined, and the Austrian defender was shipped out on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
Augsburg also released midfielder Caiuby after the Brazilian returned late to training after the winter break.
Making up for the departures, Augsburg signed English defender Reece Oxford on loan from West Ham for the rest of the season, while former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was appointed assistant coach on Tuesday to help the 39-year-old Baum achieve the turnaround.
“This week was extraordinary for Augsburg,” said Baum, who received abuse from some of the club’s own fans. “When you receive not exactly positive messages from people you don’t even know, then it can be challenging to deal with it.”
This weekend in Bundesliga play, there was a spectacular moment for Augsburg as they beat Freiburg 4-1, and an embarrassing moment for Stuttgart as they topped Werder Bremen 2-1.
First, Augsburg moved into the top half of the table with a storming win at home on Sunday. Alfred Finnbogason scored a hat-trick, and his first was an absolute beauty. Taking a cross from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Finnbogason turned and poked the ball inside the far post with the back of his foot. Take a bow!
The win for Augsburg was the second of the young season, putting them a point behind Wolfsburg and two back of Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, and RB Leipzig. It was the club’s first win since beating Fortuna Dusseldorf back in late August.
While Augsburg stormed to victory, Stuttgart had to hold on late thanks to an embarrassing moment on Saturday that will end up on plenty of soccer blooper reels. With the home side up 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Arena, Borna Sosa took a throw-in from the left sideline and went back to goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler…who wasn’t paying attention. With Zieler fixing his shin guards and socks, the ball trickled by him, not realizing it until it was too late. The ball rolled into the net to level the score at 1-1.
The goal goes down as an own-goal on Zieler as he was the closest to it when it went into the net, and it’s not possible to score – in your net or the opponent’s – on a throw-in. Thankfully for Stuttgart, Gonzalo Castro was on hand to win it in the 74th minute and save the three points.
- Argentina goal: Aguero (19′)
- Iceland goal: Finnbogason (23′)
- Next: Argentina-Croatia, Iceland-Nigeria
Hannes Halldorsson made six saves including a Lionel Messi penalty as Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in Moscow on Saturday in both sides’ World Cup openers.
Messi won a free kick in the fifth of five minutes of stoppage time, and his bid to join rival Cristiano Ronaldo as a last-minute hero went into the wall.
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Tagliafico nodded Messi’s ninth minute free kick wide of the goal, the second time Argentina tempted the goal in the first 10.
Iceland had its early moment, too, thanks to poor passing from Argentina in its final third. Birkir Bjarnason pushed wide his near post effort.
Messi just missed a chance before Aguero opened the scoring, creating space on his left and ripping a shot into the goal.
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Messi tore into a 21st minute shot that didn’t turn enough to find the inside of the near post.
Yet it was Iceland who’d score next, with Finnbogason poking a rebound between Nicolas Otamendi’s legs to make it 1-1.
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Messi had two more chances as the match stretched into its final 10 minutes.
Halldórsson then made his sixth save with an outstanding reaction stop on Aguero.
The Bundesliga giants did not fare well in Week 3 of the new season.
[ MORE: Bundesliga scores ]
Below is a quick look at all of the action from around Germany on Saturday, while you can see the latest stats and schedule by clicking on the link above.
Hoffenheim 2-0 Bayern Munich
The reigning champs were dealt a shock defeat at Hoffenheim as Carlo Ancelotti’s side conceded a goal in each half to suffer their first defeat of the season. Mark Uth scored both the goals for Hoffenheim who move up to second place in the table.
Augsburg 3-0 Koln
Iceland forward Alfred Finnbogason broke out for a hat trick, giving the hosts a 1-1-1 start to the season and dropping Koln to 0-3.
Freiburg 0-0 Borussia Dortmund
The shots on goal were 27-5, but Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund couldn’t find a way past Freiburg and dropped their first points of the season.
Hamburg 0-2 RB Leipzig — Keita, Werner score Friday
Wolfsburg 1-1 Hannover 96
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Schalke vs. Stuttgart — Noon ET Sunday