Fans stay away in protest as Augsburg holds Dortmund 1-1

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 27, 2018 09:22 AM
Fans stay away in protest as Augsburg holds Dortmund 1-1
Many empty seats are seen during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Augsburg in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, Feb 26, 2018. Thousands of supporters protest against Bundesliga matches on Mondays. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — More than 27,000 fans stayed away as Augsburg held Borussia Dortmund to 1-1 in the second of the Bundesliga's unpopular Monday night games.

The supporters answered a call to boycott the match in protest - there were big gaps visible all over the Westfalenstadion, Germany's biggest with a capacity of over 81,360 - while those who did attend did little to add to the atmosphere.

"For fan-fair kickoff times! No to Monday games!" said a large banner behind the goal in front of the sparsely filled south stand, which normally holds about 24,500 fans. Dortmund normally sells out all of its home games.

There were no protests to match Eintracht Frankfurt fans' fury in the season's first Monday night game last week, however.

Marco Reus got the fans who did show up cheering in the 16th minute, finishing off a quick break involving Mario Goetze and Andre Schuerrle when he chipped Martin Hinteregger's attempted clearance back over the Augsburg defender and in.

But Dortmund failed to break through thereafter and Jonathan Schmid almost equalized before the break with a free kick that Roman Buerki just about kept out.

After the interval, Schmid again went close and Caiuby should have made more of a Julian Weigl mistake to score.

Kevin Danso finally equalized at the second attempt after Buerki saved his first header from a corner. The rebound fell kindly for the Austrian defender with just over 15 minutes remaining.

The flat atmosphere seemed to affect the players on the pitch as they failed to find a response.

"It would be a simple and cheap excuse to say it didn't work because the stadium wasn't quite full," Dortmund coach Peter Stoeger said of his side's lackluster performance. "I'm not satisfied at all."

Dortmund stayed second, 19 points behind Bayern Munich, with Schalke just a point behind with 10 games remaining. Augsburg stayed eighth.

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