Professionals | 08/01/2019

3:1 victory against FC Groningen

FC start preparation with a win

1. FC Köln began their Winter Break preparations with a 3:1 win over FC Groningen on Tuesday evening. The visitors led 0:1 at the break thanks to Thomas Bruns’ goal, but an inspired second-half performance saw FC turn things around. Dominick Drexler, Jhon Cordoba and Christian Clemens all scored in the win.

Markus Anfang opted for a young midfield to begin the game, as Nikolas Nartey and Noah Katterbach lined up alongside debutant, Tomas Ostrak. As for Groningen, there was a familiar face amongst their ranks. Tim Handwerker slotted in on the left-hand side, as he continues to impress on his loan from FC.

Groningen lead as Katterbach goes off injured

It was a slow start to the game for both sides and they found it difficult to create chances in the early knockings. FC did, however, have the better of the match in those opening stages. Serhou Guirassy had a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up, while Nikolas Nartey fired just wide after a promising run.

Despite the good early work from Anfang’s men, it was Groningen who took the lead. A hopefully flick over the defence from Kai Sierguis let Thomas Bruns in on goal, and he rounded Thomas Kessler before slotting into an empty net. Things got worse for FC when Noah Katterbach, who had started the game well, was forced off with injury. Rafael Czichos was his replacement.

Louis Schaub almost found a deserved equaliser after a fine move involving himself, Marcel Risse and Simon Terodde. The Austrian’s effort flew narrowly over the bar. Handwerker very nearly found a way through himself let in the half, only for a strong hand from Kesseler to keep the FC loanee at bay.

Drexler and Cordoba fire FC ahead

A complete change of team, apart from Rafael Czichos, and a strong word in the ear meant that FC started the second half brightest. After Jhon Cordoba and Dominick Drexler had penalty appeals turned down, and Drexler was denied by Padt after a great ball from Darko Churlinov, Drexler made it third time lucky. His composed finish from Niklas Hauptmann’s cut-back was just what was required.

Darko Churlinov made a real impression on the left-hand side and caused plenty of issues for the Groningen defence following his introduction. However, it was one of FC’s form players who made it 2:1. Christian Clemens’ attempted effort popped up nicely for Jhon Cordoba, who produced yet another friendly game bicycle kick to score from close range.

FC dominated possession in the latter stages and ended the game in style. Christian Clemens’ took charge of a free-kick from 20 yards out and produced a superb finish into the top corner to seal a deserved win. Markus Anfang and the team will now head to Mallorca for their Winter training camp, where they will face RCD Mallorca on January 16th.


KOE first-half (3-1-4-2): Kessler – Sobiech, Sörensen, J. Horn – Nartey – Risse, Schaub, Ostrak, Katterbach (Czichos 30‘) – Terodde, Guirassy.

KOE second-half (4-1-4-1): T. Horn – Bader, Czichos, Meré, Hector – Özcan – Clemens, Drexler, Hauptmann, Churlinov – Cordoba.

GRO first-half: Padt – Te Wierik, Memeisevic, Bel Hassani, Sierhuis, Mahi, Bruns, Warmerdam, Chabot, Handwerker, Zeefuik.

GRO second-half: Padt – Reis, Kramer, Moreira, Absalem, Breij, Hrustic, van der Kaap, van der Looi, Balk, Miguel.

Goals: 0:1, Bruns 19‘. 1:1, Drexler 51’. 2:1, Cordoba 66’. 3:1, Clemens 90’.

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Total table
10FC Schalke 0437
111. FC Köln34
12Eintracht Frankfurt32