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Augsburg loses in Stuttgart on Weinzierl's return as coach

Augsburg’s bid to ease its Bundesliga relegation worries with Markus Weinzierl back as coach started badly after losing at Stuttgart 2-1 on Friday.

Saša Kalajdžić scored one and set up the other for Stuttgart to end its four-game losing run and leave Augsburg just three points above the relegation zone.

Augsburg had only one point from its previous four games, leading the club to fire Heiko Herrlich as coach on April 26. Weinzierl, who led Augsburg through its most successful spell from 2012-16, was brought back for his first coaching job since he was fired by Stuttgart in 2019 after a 6-0 loss to Augsburg.

Stuttgart's Wataru Endo, left, and Augsburg's Jan Moravek in action during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)

Weinzierl’s team next faces relegation rival Werder Bremen before its last game of the season at Bayern Munich on May 22.

Philipp Förster fired Stuttgart into an early lead against the run of play with the help of a deflection after Kalajdžić laid the ball back.

Augsburg regrouped. The equalizer when it came from Florian Niederlechner just before the hour mark was fully deserved. Marco Richter headed the ball across goal and it rebounded off Stuttgart defender Marc Oliver Kempf’s back before Niederlechner headed in from close range.

Augsburg's Marco Richter, left, and Stuttgart's Philipp Klement in action during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)

But poor defending allowed Kalajdžić to head what proved to be Stuttgart’s winner in the 74th.

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Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner celebrates scoring during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)

Stuttgart's Philipp Forster, 3rd left, celebrates scoring with teammates during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)

Stuttgart's Philipp Forster, right, celebrates scoring with teammates Roberto Massimo and Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic, left, during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)

Stuttgart's Marc Oliver Kempf, left, and Augsburg's Andre Hahn in action during the Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and FC Augsburg at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany, Friday May 7, 2021. (Tom Wellerdpa via AP)