Darmstadt and Cologne are fighting a battle in the basement duel, which the guests don’t deserve to win.
Davie Selke shot 1. FC Köln to their second win of the season in the Bundesliga and thus, at least overnight, out of the relegation zone. The striker scored in the 60th minute on Friday evening to make it 1-0 (0-0) in the basement duel against newly promoted SV Darmstadt 98, for whom it was already their fourth home defeat.
Thanks to the better goal difference, Cologne moved past their rivals with the same points to 15th place with nine points. The new bottom is Champions League participant 1. FC Union Berlin (7), who have to play at FC Bayern Munich on Saturday.
From the kick-off, a competitive game developed in front of 17,810 spectators, in which both teams revealed their playful deficits. Long and high was usually the motto, which turned out to be unsuitable. Opportunities remained scarce on both sides.
After a good 20 minutes, Darmstadt’s Marvin Mehlem had to leave the field with an ankle injury. The previously agile offensive man had recently been fouled by Florian Kainz. Experienced Tobias Kempe came in for Mehlem.
The Hessians were now unable to move forward at all. But FC, who had significantly more possession of the ball, also had a hard time and remained harmless in attack. The result: In the first half, both goalkeepers didn’t even have to take action as neither team managed a shot at the opponent’s goal.
There was only a brief excitement when Cologne’s Luca Kilian went down in the Darmstadt penalty area and the guests demanded a penalty. But referee Patrick Ittrich rightly allowed play to continue.
Corner kick causes cheers
Even after the change, it remained a tough battle of attrition, in which the home team now acted a little more purposefully and had their first opportunity. Tim Skarke’s shot narrowly missed the FC goal.
On the other side, Dejan Ljubicic had the visitors’ lead in hand, but was denied by Lilien goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen from a tight angle. Shortly afterwards, the Cologne team celebrated after all: Darmstadt’s Mathias Honsak unfortunately extended a corner from Luca Waldschmidt with his head at the feet of Selke, who effortlessly finished from five meters.
Just six minutes later, Waldschmidt scored to make it 2-0 for Cologne. But the goal was canceled according to video evidence because it had previously been offside. Shortly afterwards, the video assistant switched on again after Ittrich had decided on a hand penalty for the home team. According to the TV images, the referee reversed his decision.
In the final phase, Lilien coach Torsten Lieberknecht brought some fresh energy, but the guests still had the better chances. Waldschmidt and substitute Max Finkgräfe both failed due to shoes shortly before the end.
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