Augsburg - Köln

Germany: Bundesliga
Augsburg R. Gumny (54), R. Vargas (62)
WWK Arena2-3
Köln O. Duda (8), F. Kainz (23), O. Duda (33)
LineupReview

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

By Peter Vice

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.


Augsburg
(4-4-2)
1Rafał Gikiewicz
32Raphael Framberger ↩42
36Reece Oxford
6Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (C)
22Iago
20Daniel Caligiuri ↩87
33Tobias Strobl ↩42
25Carlos Gruezo
16Ruben Vargas
27Alfreð Finnbogason ↩46
28André Hahn
Bench
40Tomáš Koubek
7Florian Niederlechner
2Robert Gumny ↪42
3Mads Pedersen
5Marek Suchý
14Jan Morávek ↪42
18László Bénes
23Marco Richter ↪87
24Fredrik Jensen ↪46
Köln
(4-1-4-1)
1Timo Horn
2Benno Schmitz
33Sebastiaan Bornauw
5Rafael Czichos
23Jannes-Kilian Horn ↩65
28Ellyes Skhiri
31Marius Wolf
14Jonas Hector (C)
18Ondrej Duda
11Florian Kainz ↩69
9Sebastian Andersson ↩79
Bench
16Ron-Robert Zieler
43Emmanuel Dennis
3Noah Katterbach ↪65
22Jorge Meré
6Marco Höger
13Max Meyer
20Elvis Rexhbecaj ↪79
21Salih Özcan
24Dominick Drexler ↪69

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