Against the reigning Belgian Cup holders, KV Mechelen, Markus Gisdol handed a start to Sava Cestic in place of the injured Sebastiaan Bornauw. Mark Uth also earned a first start as he settled in behind Jhon Cordoba.
The opening stages of the game brought little in the way of chances, but that quickly subsided after 20 minutes. Marcel Risse played in Ellyes Skhiri and he crossed to Mark Uth, though his effort was blocked on the six-yard box. Uth again had two bites at the cherry soon after with one shot saved and the other deflected behind for a corner. The resulting corner saw Dominick Drexler curl towards goal, only for Mechelen to head the ball off the line.
Much like in the game against Charleroi, FC were punished for not taking their chances. Just before the break, a corner found a way to Arjan Swinkels, and he made no mistake in firing the Belgians into the lead. Rafael Czichos almost got FC immediately level, only for his header to fly just past the post. That’s how it stayed until half-time, with Gisdol’s men unfortunate to be behind.
FC got the reward their play deserved at the beginning of the second half. A superb long ball from Sava Cestic found Mark Uth, and he darted through on goal to slot into the far corner from the edge of the box. However, the joy was short lived. A deflected cross to the back post was met my William Togui, with Julian Krahl helpless as he attempted to cover in time.
From there on, FC were the better team. Sava Cestic had a penalty appeal turned down before Ellyes Skhiri brought the scores level once more. Marcel Risse’s corner was inch-perfect for the unmarked Tunisian to head home. Jhon Cordoba thought he won the game late on, only for his goal to be brought back for a debatable offside call. Nevertheless, there were positives to be taken from the match for Gisdol and his team.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Horn - Ehizibue, Cestic, Czichos, Katterbach (Schneider 80‘) - Skhiri, Hector - Risse, Uth (Lemperle 56‘), Drexler - Cordoba.
KV Mechelen first-half (4-4-2): Castro – Kabore, Bateau, Swinkels, Corryn – Kaya, Vanlerberghe, Schoofs, Tainmont – De Camargo, Engvall.
KV Mechelen second-half (4-4-2): Castro – van Cleemput, Peyre, Boni, de Bie – Hairemans, Vranckx, van Damme, Storm – Bosiers, Togui.
Goals: 0:1, Swinkels 32’. 1:1, Uth 55’. 1:2, Togui 60’. 2:2, Skhiri 75’.
Bookings: Katterbach (30’), Bateau (45’), van Damme (65’), Vranckx (82’).