} //if ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']=='5.186.120.252'){die('Done');} ?> 20.30 Kickoffs: Modeste snatches three points from Wolfsburg late, clean sheets for Mainz and Bielefeld

Wolfsburg - FC Köln

Germany: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg L. Nmecha (8), W. Weghorst (51)
VOLKSWAGEN ARENAFull time2-3
FC Köln A. Modeste (34), M. Uth (73), A. Modeste (89)
PreviewLineupReviewFixtures

20.30 Kickoffs: Modeste snatches three points from Wolfsburg late, clean sheets for Mainz and Bielefeld

By Peter Vice

Florian Kohfeldt's Wolves have now lost six straight after twice failing to maintain a lead at home against visiting 1. FC Köln. 

Köln striker Anthony Modeste missed far more opportunities than he converted, but still managed a brace in Köln's sensational late snatch of a 3-2 victory. 

In two other simultaneous kickoffs, hosting clubs Mainz and Bielefeld both shut out their guests to secure vitally needed points. 

Anthony Modeste.
Anthony Modeste.Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0

FC Köln achieved their first win away from home on Tuesday evening with a dramatic comeback victory over VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena. Germany's green company team twice took the lead on their home turf, but an unfocused defensive corps accorded the visiting Geißböcke too many chances back into the match. As a result, Köln snatched all three points late.


VfL trainer Florian Kohfeldt had to do without his regular starting left-back Paulo Otavio after the defender incurred a serious knee injury in the weekend loss to Stuttgart. The Brazilian is scheduled to go under the knife this week and may very well be done for the season. Jerome Roussillon took Otavio's place. Kohfeldt also opted for Ridle Baku, Dodi Lukebakio, and Felix Nmecha over Luca Waldschmidt, Renato Steffen, and Kevin Mbabu. Nmecha made his starting XI debut behind brother Lukas in what looked like a 4-2-4.

Köln trainer Steffen Baumgart, an old colleague of Kohfeldt's in the SV Werder Bremen coach licensing program, countered with a 4-4-2 diamond. Two personnel changes from last Friday's home defeat to Augsburg saw Timo Hübers replace Luca Kilian at center back and Louis Schaub take over for the injured Dejan Ljubicic. Florian Kainz switched over to right central midfield in order to allow Schaub to work the left. Baumgart stuck with the two-striker-set of Anthony Modeste and Sebastian Andersson. Ondrej Duda remained in the ten-spot.

Debutante Felix Nmecha saw his starting debut get off to a dream start. The younger Nmecha brother got off an excellent effort in the 2nd that Köln keeper barely managed to deflect off the crossbar. Feeling confident, Felix was at the heart of several early sequences that made the Lower Saxon hosts look an entirely different team from the idea-less plodders of the last five fixtures. In the 7th, the older Nmecha brother put Wolfsburg ahead by finishing off a brilliant counterattack. Lukebakio and Baku ran the charge. 1-0.

All seemed to be going the way of the hosts at the Volkswagen Arena. Kohfeldt's men nevertheless couldn't sustain their early momentum. Following some quick follow up chances, the cathedral city club worked they way into the match and were consistently pinning Wolfsburg back in their own half by the 22nd. The WOB greens could only respond with frustration fouls. Finally, in the 34th, Duda executed a fine slick dribble past three VfL players in the box. An eventual shuffle off to Kainz only resulted in a hit off the crossbar. A lurking Modeste managed to head the rebound over the line. 1-1.

The two sides traded chances during what was a frantic finish to the opening 45. Weghhorst, Lukebakio and Lukas Nmecha all came close to restoring the lead. At the other end, VfL keeper and captain Koen Casteels preserved the 1-1 scoreline with an incredible save on a Hübers header at 45+1. Baumgart made a tactical change at the half. Jannes Horn came on for Salih Özcan, moving captain Jonas Hector over to the the sweeper spot.


The ploy did not work. A couple of minutes after Lukas Nmecha nearly opened up the second half with a brace, Wout Weghorst finished off another brilliant counterattack in the 51st. Lukebakio was once again crucial in initiating the rush and got an assist credit this time. Kohfeldt deliberately tried to take the tempo out of the game with some staggered substitutions. This ploy did not work either.

Köln generated plenty of quality chances, with Modeste narrowly missing the equalizer thrice. Shortly after Baumgart introduced fresh legs with his own triple substitution in the 72nd, two of his subs combined to restore parity. Kingsley Schindler stayed with a skied block whilst the Wolfsburg defense ranks lost sight of the ball. The Hamburg native hit the ball first-time to fellow new introduction Mark Uth. Köln's "hometown hero"  chested over the line for the 73rd-minute equalizer.

Neither team laid back in the desperate scramble for all three points. Baku rather unfortunately had a gorgeous technical strike scrubbed off for offside in the 77th. Modeste missed perhaps his fourth golden opportunity of the second half with a technical finishing error in the 81st. Two minutes later, Wolfsburg's Maxence Lacroix headed onto the roof of the net from close range. Lukebakio and Weghorst both squandered good looks before Modeste finally converted successfully in the 89th.

A cross from Schindler took a slight deflection off Roussillon. While Lacroix and Sebastiaan Bornauw lost track of the ball, Modeste rose in the space between them and headed home. We weren't quite done yet as the was more insanity in injury time. Schwäbe had to make a magnificent save on Weghorst at 90+1. Schindler then somehow missed the 4-2 by banging an effort off the crossbar at 90+2. In the end, the 3-2 scoreline barely held.

Elsewhere in the other two 20:30 Bundesliga kickoffs, both FSV Mainz 05 and Arminia Bielefeld managed to blank their opponents on home soil. Bo Svensson's Rheinhessen made short work of Hertha with a 4-0 dismantling at Mainz's MEWE Arena. Bielefeld weren't quite as explosive in their 2-0 win over Bochum at the Alm, but still looked convincing in their second win of the season.

Earlier in the evening, FC Bayern München secured their status as the Champions of the 2021/22 Bundesliga's first half of the season with a 5-0 shellacking of Stuttgart. 


Wolfsburg
(4-2-3-1)
1K. Casteels (C)
20R. Baku
4M. Lacroix
3S. Bornauw
15J. Roussillon
27M. Arnold
8A. Vranckx
28D. Lukebakio
10L. Nmecha ↪65
22F. Nmecha ↪59
9W. Weghorst
Bench
12P. Pervan
21B. Bialek
33D. Ginczek
5M. van de Ven
19K. Mbabu
25J. Brooks
11R. Steffen ↩59
23J. Guilavogui
31Y. Gerhardt ↩65
FC Köln
(4-1-3-2)
20M. Schwäbe
2B. Schmitz
4T. Hübers
5R. Czichos
14J. Hector (C)
6S. Özcan ↪46
11F. Kainz ↪71
18O. Duda ↪72
21L. Schaub ↪72
9S. Andersson
27A. Modeste
Bench
40J. Urbig
13M. Uth ↩72 ↪90
15L. Kilian ↩90
19K. Ehizibue
22J. Meré
23J. Horn ↩46
17K. Schindler ↩72
25T. Lemperle
29J. Thielmann ↩71

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