1. FC Köln settled for a 1-1 draw at home against 1. FC Union Berlin on Sunday in Matchday 2. Coming in as one of the heavy favorites in the 2. Bundesliga and a 2-0 win to start the season on the road, expectations were certainly high for this match and a win should have been the result for the sold-out crowd. Plus our very own Randall Hauk was in the crowd!
Both teams found a tough time getting through during the first 23 minutes of the match. Köln then had a few shots from Risse and Schaub, whose second chance at 29’ was a header just wide from a wonderful Clemens cross into the box. That was followed up immediately by Córdoba who had a nice run in and right-footed shot. The keeper just got a hand on it though to push it wide for a corner.
A few more chances finally led to the big breakthrough. In the 41’, a pass to Clemens out wide was nearly intercepted by the defender, who just tripped on his own feet. That left Clemens plenty of space for a strong run all the way into the box, right through a couple of defenders. His shot with the right foot squeezed just past the keeper, off the inside of the post and in. It was a bit tough going, but Köln was up at the break.
Any extra momentum from the goal just before the half was killed in the early goings of the second half. Timo Horn was pressed into action several times and had to make key saves in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. Berlin finally rewarded themselves with a goal in the 69’. Köln thought they were fouled about 10 yards or so outside the Berlin box, but with no whistle, Berlin quickly countered and got a cross in from the left side where Sebastian Andersson was ready to redirect it in. Berlin had another strong chance in the 75th that nearly made it a 1-2 deficit.
Bringing on Guirassy (for Hauptmann), Terodde (for Córdoba), and Zoller (for the goalscorer Clemens) swung momentum back in our favor slightly, but two close chances in the 90’ couldn’t break the deadlock.
It’s tough to come away with only 1 point in the home opener. Köln dominated in possession (65-35), shots (18 to 9) and corners (9 to 3), but was unable to capitalize on their chances. Those stats are a positive sign, and with both a win and draw so far things are off to much better start than last season losing the first 3 straight. But one can’t help but be reminded of the lack of finishing again. After 2 weeks Köln sits tied for 3rd in the table at 4 points and face FC Erzgebirge Aue next at home on August 25th.
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