Two coaches, two worlds of emotions: Pellegrino Matarazzo sat frustrated in the press room of the Augsburg football stadium and after his second game as coach had to declare his second defeat to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, who were still rapidly teetering towards the relegation zone.
"We accepted the fight, but unfortunately we lost in the 89th minute after conceding a corner kick. That's very bitter," groaned the 45-year-old before adding: "But we have a long week ahead of us , in which we can work very hard and then do better against Dortmund."
Enrico Maaßen sat two places next to Matarazzo on the small podium and, euphoric when his joker Fredrik Jensen made it 1-0 at the last minute, sang a hymn to his team, which was not deterred by two goals denied according to video evidence and the next home win deservedly forced under floodlights. "If you're happy so often and it's taken back, that does something to you," said Maassen.
The happy ending was all the more important for the newcomer coach in the Bundesliga: "The goal at the end was certainly an absolute willpower, felt with six players on the line who all wanted to push the ball over. That also shows the spirit of my team . I'm very proud," said the 38-year-old. After their third home win in 2023, the Augsburg team dropped five points from their competitor Hoffenheim.
New Augsburg home strength
"Three times 1-0 at home - chapeau!" exulted FCA manager Stefan Reuter. "Won 1-0, scored a goal, three points, Friday night, all good," commented match winner Jensen in telegram style. The Augsburgers, who obviously cannot be relegated, have a team in their twelfth year in the Bundesliga that, supplemented by clever winter purchases, can fight relegation.
Matarazzo, on the other hand, faces an enormous task with a TSG squad that was put together for completely different goals this season and is now in free fall towards the second division. It was the eleventh game without a win in a row - and the next opponent is Borussia Dortmund. Midfielder Christoph Baumgartner called BVB "overpowering, but maybe that's what we need right now". The time for perseverance slogans begins.
Outburst of anger from Hoffenheim's Vogt
After all, a violent outburst of anger from defense chief Kevin Vogt demonstrated that a fire was still burning in the Hoffenheim team. When he was substituted, Vogt tore his jersey off shortly after the break before scoffing and scoffing on the bench. He had previously fallen to the ground in a daze because Augsburg's Kelvin Yeboah had hit him in the face while fighting for the ball. According to the video images, referee Patrick Ittrich did not recognize Ermedin Demirovic's FCA goal because of "the intensity of the direct hit" at Vogt.
Matarazzo resolved the confusing scene with Vogt after the final whistle. He spoke of a communication error that led to an outburst of emotions. "That's easy to explain: He wanted to go in, I also wanted him to go back in. Then we got the information from the doctor late that he wasn't allowed in. This information had already been communicated to the referee," said Matarazzo . "The Doc had decided it would be too much danger to go back on the pitch." Vogt did not experience the late Hoffenheim knockout by Augsburg's Jensen on the pitch.