Markus Gisdol made four changes following the midweek defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Ismail Jakobs, Toni Leistner, Mark Uth and Florian Kainz returned to the starting line-up in place of Noah Katterbach, Dominick Drexler, Jan Thielmann and Anthony Modeste.
Adi Hütter opted for six alterations after the win over Schalke during the week. Kevin Trapp, David Abraham, Makoto Hasebe, Danny da Costa, Dominik Kohr and Daichi Kamada dropped out for Frederik Rönnow, Martin Hinteregger, Lucas Torro, Djibril Sow, Timothy Chandler and Bas Dost.
Frankfurt started the game the more livelier of the two sides and almost went ahead after five minutes. André Silva managed to find Bas Dost on the left, yet the Dutch forward was unable to find the target. The match fell into somewhat of a midfield battle afterwards, with both teams finding it hard to create any real meaningful chances.
Filip Kostic brought two fine saves from Timo Horn, the first to deny a cross from reaching Dost before he beat away a long-range shot. FC finished the half stronger, however, after Mark Uth’s bicycle kick was well-held by Frederik Rönnow. However, there would be a late breakthrough. Uth was fouled in the box and Florian Kainz slotted home from 12 yards to give FC the lead.
The second period saw FC pick up where they left off. Jhon Cordoba had two chances in quick succession. One was pulled back for offside, the other saw the Colombian’s effort halted by Evan Ndicka’s brave block. Eintracht had a goal disallowed not long after after Bas Dost was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up before Martin Hinteregger tapped home.
The end of second-half brought more Frankfurt pressure and saw them level. A move down the right saw Djibril Sow cross into the middle and Bas Dost was able to convert for close range. The game went back and forward from there as both sides went in search of a winner. André Silva went close before Dominick Drexler almost found an FC player in the middle to win the game.
FC are now secured of a place in the Bundesliga for the 2020-21 season – and will travel to Werder Bremen next week to end the current campaign.
1. FC Köln (3-5-2): Horn – Leistner, Bornauw, Czichos – Ehizibue (Schmitz 87’), Skhiri, Kainz (Thielmann 79’), Rexhbecaj (Höger 79‘), Jakobs – Uth (Drexler 87’), Cordoba (Modeste 68‘).
Eintracht Frankfurt (3-5-2): Rönnow – Hinteregger, Ilsanker, Ndicka – Chandler (da Costa 64‘), Torro, Sow (de Guzman 80‘), Rode (Kohr 64‘), Kostic – Silva, Dost.
Goals: 1:0, Kainz (PEN) 45’. 1:1, Dost 72’.
Referee: Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle).
Booked: Rode (56’), Torro (58’), Kainz (71’).