dRelegation-threatened 1. FC Köln could only temporarily bring its fans into a carnival atmosphere before the Rose Monday parade. Coach Timo Schulz's team, threatened by relegation, drew 1-1 against TSG Hoffenheim on Sunday evening and only conceded the victory in extra time. Max Finkgräfe put the visitors ahead with a free kick goal in the 79th minute. The substitute Andrei Kramaric still tied (90.+4).
“If you get a goal like that in the 94th minute, it's incredibly bitter,” said Benno Schmitz on DAZN: “Today we were very close again. Keep going. We have to find the base at the back.” Finkgräfe was happy with his goal, but “it feels more like a defeat,” the youngster said.
FC, who will be present at the transfer with his own car on Monday, stood out for his passion and commitment. With the tie, the Rhinelanders are four points ahead of the direct relegation zone. The Hoffenheim team has gone seven league games without a win.
“I'm looking forward to the move,” he said. Cologne Coach Timo Schultz, who last day achieved his first victory as FC coach (2-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt), shortly before the start of the match on “DAZN”: “We can celebrate the carnival even better if we win.”
His counterpart Pellegrino Matarazzo had to justify his decision not to play against Andrej Kramaric: the Croatian simply sat on the bench. “The lineup took me half the night,” the coach said: “I wanted to get the best combination on the field. It was not an easy decision”.
The 23,020 spectators present at the Sinsheim Arena, of which almost a third were FC fans, witnessed a competitive first phase. The Cologne team impressed with great will against the locals, who were better in terms of play. In the 14th minute, TSG winger Ihlas Bebou caused danger for the first time in front of the Cologne goal.
After that, not much happened. The guests, who had to do without Timo Hübers, Davie Selke, Mark Uth and Luca Waldschmidt, were quite stable in defense. Only Hoffenheim Attacker Wout Weghorst tested Cologne goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe (26th). Shortly before the break, the Dutchman had the best chance of the first half (43').
At the beginning of the second round nothing changed. Hoffenheim, who were without the suspended John Anthony Brooks, as well as Mergim Berisha and Marco John, had more of a part in the game: Cologne defended skillfully.
In the 68th minute, Matarazzo brought on three new players, including Kramaric. Even after that, FC defended with great commitment. The punctures in attack also forced Hoffenheim to be careful in defense. This did not work with Finkgräfe's free kick.