FC Köln trainer Steffen Baumgart seemed more concerned with his attack's lack of ideas than errors playing out of the back after Friday night's 0-1 loss away Union Berlin.
In point of fact, Baumgart took responsibility for the short-passing game that left his back-four exposed.
|Steffen Baumgart.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0|
It proved to be less than a happy homecoming for former Union Berlin skipper Steffen Baumgart at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei on Friday night. Despite lording over upwards of 60 percent possession, Baumgart's Geißböcke were only able to generate a party 0.4 xG. In the end, the hosting Eisernen defeated the cathedral city club 1-0 on a passing error from current Köln skipper Jonas Hector.
"We lost the game 0-1 on a mistake," Baumgart lamented afterwards, "That can happen. That's a mistake that happens to you once a year and that's fine."
For his part, a dejected looking Hector took time to explain the error to the DAZN microphones in his post-match interview.
With a sunken head and a clear wince, Hector described the moment four minutes after the restart when FCU striker Taiwo Awoniyi cherry-picked his pass and scored the game-winning goal.
"I wanted to play it back to the keeper, but ended up playing it too far forward for Marvin [Schwäbe] to get there," Hector admitted, "That's how it came to this."
There were, in fact, several nervy moments as Köln played short-passes out of the back. Awoniyi--who scored his 17th goal across all competitions for the club in the encounter--was often lurking in dangerous pockets of space.
"I expect the lads to play out of the back," Baumgart said of his game-plan, "That entails some risk."
Awonyi's 12th goal of the league enabled the now highly-valued Nigerian striker to draw level with previous Union striker Sebastian Andersson for the most Union league goals in a single season.
Andersson, who was in the starting XI for Köln looked largely lost for most of the night. The Swedish forward simply didn't find much room to operate in without striking partner Anthony Modeste.
After failing to score in their latest fixtures, Baumgart's Effzeh have now only scored six goals in their last eight league fixtures. The head-coach made clear he absolutely wasn't satisfied that and issued a challenge to his team.
"We have to learn, we must find solutions," Baumgart remarked in a gruff and demanding tone.
Köln were actually not half-bad on set-pieces, but brave goalkeeping from Union Berlin back-up keeper Fredrerik Rønnow cancelled out most of the solid dead-ball services.
|28||C. Trimmel (C)|
|24||G. Haraguchi ↪75|
|21||G. Prömel ↪89|
|27||S. Becker ↪72|
|14||T. Awoniyi ⚽ ↪88|
|9||A. Voglsammer ↩72|
|17||K. Behrens ↩88|
|6||J. Ryerson ↩75|
|30||K. Möhwald ↩89|
|19||K. Ehizibue ↪46|
|4||T. Hübers ↪83|
|14||J. Hector (C)|
|7||D. Ljubicic ↪68|
|13||M. Uth ↪83|
|11||F. Kainz ↪67|
|23||J. Horn ↩83|
|24||J. Chabot ↩67|
|21||L. Schaub ↩83|
|25||T. Lemperle ↩68|
|29||J. Thielmann ↩46|