Modeste Scores Twice as Effzeh Cruise in First Test

The 1. FC Köln won their first test match of the summer Thursday evening, dispatching the “AVITA-Auswahl” 4:0 in front of about 500 spectators at Oberwart Stadium.

The “selection” playing under the name of the resort where the team has been staying during their training camp was never going to present the stiffest competition for the effzeh, and certainly not on the level of Juventus Turin, the mid-August friendly opponent announced yesterday. As you might expect, coach Peter Stöger offered a fairly measured reaction to the match.

“It was okay. Everyone came away healthy,” said the coach on the last evening of training camp. “The game served its purpose.”

While all fans can certainly appreciate a game without injuries, most will also relish a bit of goal-scoring. Anthony Modeste had the only goals of the first half, scoring twice, while Simon Zoller and Marcel Risse contributed one each in the second.

For those who, once again, did not budget a trip to Austria for camp this summer, the Geissblog Liveticker offered a fairly comprehensive way to follow the match through Twitter, as long as you can read German. Even if you don’t, all effzeh fans can appreciate the Hymn having made the trip with the club to officially get test-match season underway.

Though technically the home team at their training camp, the 1. FC Köln wore the 2015-16 away kits for the last time. The uniforms for the coming season are to be officially presented to the public Friday.

Newcomers Konstantin Rausch, Marco Höger, and Artjoms Rudnevs all got to wear the old red strip before their finally retired. All three played the second half. Matthias Lehmann, who collected a slight injury earlier in the week, was held out of the match. Timo Horn also was kept out, giving Thomas Kessler and newly promoted youngster Sven Müller the chance to take the pitch, though almost all the action took place in Köln’s offensive end.

It was a three-man back row for Stöger to start the summer, continuing last season’s emerging trend.

Modest’s first goal (15.) was a simple case of a gap in class. Milos Jojic delivered from the corner to the near post to where the Frenchman was able to navigate completely unimpeded by anything resembling a defense. With plenty of space around him, Modeste skied to meet the cross and easily beat the keeper to get himself on the board early.

The second goal (43.) required little more of the striker, as he again had plenty of space in which to operate as he took one big stride into the penalty area before drilling his shot past the keeper. The goal might never have happened, though, without an nice bit of hustle from Filip Mladenovic, who raced to catch up to a Yuya Osako pass just before it got to the goal line and delivered a blind, jumping cross to where both Modeste and Salih Özcan were waiting.

Youth-squad star Özcan wisely stood aside to allow the club’s leading scorer from last season do what he does.

Despite the solid lead and the vast majority of play, the Geissblog reporter noted during the first half that the grueling fitness regimen of the training camp had left the effzeh players looking a bit sluggish, which seemed to have Stöger shaking his head in disappointment. Also noted shortly before the second goal was scored was that Modeste seemed to yell at Jojic to “play faster.”

Eight changes to the squad for the second half, including the effzeh debuts of  the aforementioned newcomers, but not much difference in how the match continued, except that with the teams flipping sides, the action took place on the opposite end of the field.

Zoller’s goal (57.), like the match’s second, was provided through a hustle play. This time, it was Rudnevs collecting a ball headed for the goal line following a whiffed clearance attempt by an AVITA defender and sending it across the goal-mouth to Zoller for the can’t-miss opportunity.

 

 

zoller vs empty net

After sending an earlier opportunity over the crossbar, no way was SiZolli missing this one.

New guy Rausch provided service on the final goal (73.) with a cross from the left flank, looking more like the sort of game situation we expect from our football, but after the ball eluded the header effort of a semi-marked Rudnevs, it found the utterly unmarked Marcel Risse, who banged his shot in off the post.

 

The team will conduct one final training session in Bad Tatzmannsdorf Friday before departing for Köln in the afternoon. Currently, the next scheduled test match is against DSC Arminia Bielefeld on July 23 at their Schüco Arena.

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