FC Augsburg – Match report vs Borussia Dortmund (23/01/2023)

The first matchday after the winter break immediately brought spectacle for Borussia Dortmund and Augsburg. Two clubs in a completely different situation still end up firing each other. It was an interesting game with debutants on both teams. Augsburg played with a high defensive line with the striker duo always trying to intercept the ball high up. It resulted in some difficult play-off situations for the home team. After 4 goals in the first half, it seemed to end in a draw until Die Borussen’s youngsters Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Gio Reyna came on the pitch. They both managed to pick up a nice goal that allowed them to keep the 3 points at home. Some great missed chances from Demirović eventually did FC Augsburg in.


A1 – Very good, could play higher

A2 – Strong potential to play higher

B1 – Good, strong player at level

B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level

C – Average for the level, rewatch

D – Below average, don’t follow up

Arne Engels

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 09/09/2003
  • Current club: FC Augsburg 
  • Career: KAA Gent (Y), Club Brugge (Y)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary position: Right Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

For the 19-year-old Belgian, it was his first game in the Bundesliga. From the Belgian second division to a top-five league is a huge step, but the midfielder seemed to handle that quite smoothly. At Club Brugge’s u23 side, he was often the creative man on the right wing. In this match, he became part of the two-man midfield in the 

4-4-2. Arne Engels is 1m85 tall but still needs to make some steps physically. He sometimes lacks the necessary duel strength, which is logical as he only just made the move to Germany. One of his qualities is knowing how to compensate for his weaknesses, his handling speed and guts in the duels are an important part of that.

Engels quickly became an important part of the build-up. His good balance between attack and defence meant he was often the man in the right place. He dared to ask for the ball and make an acceleration with the ball at foot. His infiltration ability in the opponent’s half then also provided his first assist. This all comes from connecting well in attacking and defensive play.

The talented midfielder’s main quality is cross balls. This was evident in Belgium in the Challenger Pro League and Youth League. At Augsburg too, they want to show that quality. He was immediately marked as an indirect free-kick taker in his debut. He looked for and found space well several times with his crosses.

One of the working points with Engels’s qualities seems to be his defensive play. He lacks defensive positioning in several situations. His defensive duel power could also be a bit better. If he wants to become a complete midfielder, which is needed in this Augsburg system, that will be the biggest working point.

Rating – B2

In this first game after his big move, Arne Engels looks to show why Augsburg wanted to get the young Belgian. In this match, he did what he had to do, proving he has no qualms about playing in a big league. In addition, he was also given a new task that exposed more of his weaknesses. I look forward to seeing Engels more on the right wing. If he can grow towards being a complete midfielder, I see a bright future for the 19-year-old.


Dion Drena Beljo

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 01/03/2002
  • Current club: FC Augsburg 
  • Career: Cibalia (Y), NK Osijek II, NK Istra (Loan), NK Osijek
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Left

Enrico Maaßen opted for a 4-4-2 against Borussia Dortmund with a debutant as a right-sided striker. The Croatian left a good first impression with a perfect completion of duties. The German coach’s high pressing worked perfectly. In the 40th minute, Beljo led the 1-1, he put high pressure on central defender Nico Schlotterbeck and managed to intercept the ball. After a pass to his infiltrating teammate, he was allowed to write down his first assist. In addition, it soon became clear that he got on well with his fellow striker. Each was given their role and that seemed right for Beljo. By coaching fellow players well, he seemed to have an immediate impact on the team.

Looking at Dion Drena Beljo’s profile, we see a tree-length goal-getter. He has a solid physique, something that perfectly suits his style of play. A pronounced quality is intercepting the ball and keeping track of it so the team can advance, which is also seen in Augsburg’s first goal. 

He has a huge winner mentality and feels the game perfectly. In difficult situations from teammates, you can see him drop out a few times and claim the ball. On attacking moves, you can then see him run along perfectly. 

Despite his 1m95, the striker has the necessary technique to become an important player. He is strong with his back to the goal and shows the guts to make an action himself. What makes his profile extra interesting is the fact that he is left-footed, a difficulty for many defenders. 

Rating – B2

Beljo’s first match looks set to be the start of a fine career. An interesting profile paired with excellent physicality offers a lot of potentials. The first match was not exceptional, but he fulfilled his duties just fine. The move to Augsburg seemed a good choice if you look at his style of play.


Ermedin Demirović

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Bosnian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 25/03/1998
  • Current club: FC Augsburg 
  • Career: Hamburger SV (Y), RB Leipzig (Y), Alavés, FC Sochaux (Loan), UD Alméria (Loan), FC St. Gallen (Loan), SC Freiburg
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Left Winger, Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

With six goals and three assists, Demirović managed to get himself into the spotlight at FC Augsburg before the winter break. The summer transfer came over from SC Freiburg and had little difficulty adapting to Enrico Maaßen’s game. For the Bosnian, it was one of the first matches in a 2-striker system (4-4-2), with Dion Drena Beljo, therefore, getting a new name next to him. 

The tasks of the duo up front were soon clear, putting pressure on the home team’s defence when playing out. Demirović felt comfortable in that role, there was a strong interaction between the two (switching positions, taking over tasks, looking for combination…). Looking at the tasks possibly, you saw that the Bosnian often dropped off a bit more. He came to claim the ball low down the pitch and managed to bring pace to the game that way. Offensively, Demirović often looks for the offside edge, that way he can make up for his something with starting speed. A good example of this can be seen in the 46th minute. He sees that Engels can make an action in midfield and immediately looks for space. His positioning means he leaves with an advantage over his defender, which compensates for his speed and so he can finish calmly, 2-2. 

Even though Demirović managed to score, the efficiency of his actions was not good enough. In minutes 61 and 89, he had 2 golden chances to pick up another goal, but he missed both. Surely a striker must do better in that situation.

The striker has a sturdy physique and is 1m85 tall. He uses his body extremely well and has the strength to face a strong defender. In addition, one of his stronger qualities is his stamina. He can be found all over the pitch and is very often playable. A free role with a deep striker next to him seems to suit him best.

Rating – B1

Ermedin Demirović seems to be playing at the right level, and Augsburg’s game seems to suit him. I don’t see him making a big step forward immediately, a mid-tier Bundesliga side seems perfect. If he can add a bit more efficiency to his game, he can make strides. The second half of the season will be an important period.


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