Bundesliga News

Germany: Bundesliga
FT
2 - 3
(0 - 3)
Augsburg
FC Köln
R. Gumny (54), R. Vargas (62)
O. Duda (8), F. Kainz (23), O. Duda (33)

Köln survive Augsburg's comeback attempt, earn second straight victory

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

With their second win in three days, Friedhelm Funkel's 1. FC Köln pushed up to the relegation playoff place ahead of the rest of the 2020/21 German Bundesliga's 31st round of action. 

The Geißböcke of Germany's cathedral city survived a late scare at the WWK Arena in West Bavaria on Friday night to top Augsburg 3-2 and earn three more crucial points in their fight to remain in Germany's top footballing flight.
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The Geißböcke of Germany's cathedral city survived a late scare at the WWK Arena in West Bavaria on Friday night to top Augsburg 3-2 and earn three more crucial points in their fight to remain in Germany's top footballing flight.


Köln trainer Friedhelm Funkel found himself fortunate to once again have two key actors available for his starting XI. Striker Sebastian Andersson was deemed fit enough to start after his continuing struggles with a bone edema kept him sidelined midweek. Fullback Benno Schmitz, who has been forced to sit out most of the season injured after reportedly winning the staring right back role in training camp, also returned.

The return of this pair enabled Funkel to move Ondrej Duda back to a supporting striker role. The 26-year-old former Hertha and Norwich City midfielder responded immediately to this lack of pressure, confidently striking an Ellyes Skhiri cross first-time into the back of the net in the 8th minute. Schmitz got in the act too 15 minutes later, latching onto an incredible 40-meter launch from Duda and hitting Florian Kainz with an equally gorgeous cross on the second goal.

Looking about as confident as they had all season, the Domstädter continued to pile on the pressure. Marius Wolf, who let the cleverly let the ball roll over to Kaan with an adroit leave on the second goal, set up Duda's second tally in the 33rd. Trailing 0-3, Augsburg trainer Heiko Herrlich didn't even wait until halftime to execute a double substitution. Tobias Strobl and Raphael Framberger were pulled in the 42nd. Friedrich Jansen replaced Alfred Finnbogason at the break.

The Fuggerstädter showed some signs of improvement after the restart when substitutes Jansen and Robert Gumny combined to pull a goal back in the 54th. Jensen bagged another assist with a nice setup of Ruben Vargas eight minutes later. With a wild momentum swing favoring the hosts, Köln buckled down to fend off a furious comeback attempt. Skhiri had to be on hand to clear off the line in the 73rd.

With a concerted and disciplined effort, Funkel's crew held on through six minutes of injury and secured three vital points. The Effzeh now occupy the relegation playoff place on 29 points. This may ultimately mean little, however, as Köln only have a three point lead over quarantined Hertha, who still have three games at hand.


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