Stefan Ruthenbeck kept his promise to play offensively against the visitors from Baden Wurttemberg as Claudio Pizarro teamed up with Simon Terodde in attack.
Flying start for FC
1. FC Köln pressed well against the VfB in the opening stages. FC struck early when Osako received the ball 21 yards in front of the Stuttgart goal and passed it perfectly to Pizarro. The Peruvian striker entered the box and finished into the far corner with his left foot (7’). It was his first goal for the club.
Weak guests surprisingly turn the match
Hector just missed the second goal after a perfect Osako pass (19’). Then a sublime combination ended in a fine delivery by the Germany international from the baseline and a Pizarro header, which went wide (23’). Stuttgart’s first chance was a Thommy volley, which just missed the right post (25’). 1. FC Köln were still the dominating team and with a stunning run Vincent Koziello set the stage for Terodde, but the striker missed the target (35’).
Osako’s goal ruled out
FC appeared to go up another goal when Osako scored, but the video assistant correctly ruled out the goal (37’). Just before half time Höger unluckily slipped at the right edge of the penalty area – Thommy crossed the ball in and Gomez converted easily (45’). Just a minute late the Stuttgart striker shot on goal in what seemed like a routine save for Timo Horn, but the FC goalkeeper allowed the ball to slip past him and into the goal. FC, somehow, were down at the half despite dominating in the early stages.
The visiting side played much more stable in the second half and picked up where they left off. Right-back Andreas Beck took a shot from 16 yards and hit the bottom left corner with his left foot (57’). Cologne did not wait long to respond, but Koziello’s powerful shot was denied by Zieler’s brilliant save (59’). A minute later Bittencourt, who had turned the match in Leipzig, came on for Pizarro (60’).
Jojic converts free kick
Stuttgart managed well to keep the FC attack away from their goal. Thus, Ruthenbeck changed his formation and brought on an additional striker: Jhon Cordoba, who replaced Sorensen (69’). Although Bittencourt missed the far post from the left side (79’) and Hector headed wide (83’), FC needed a set piece to score again. Hector was fouled at the 18-yard line and substitute Milos Jojic bent the free kick perfectly into the top left corner (86’). Jojic had another free kick opportunity just before the end, but his effort went into the wall as FC suffered a bitter home defeat.
Journey to Bremen
Next, 1. FC Köln will play their next crucial match against SV Werder Bremen on Monday, 12 March 2018 (20:30).
1. FC Köln: T. Horn – Sorensen (69’ Cordoba), Meré, Heintz – Risse, Höger, Koziello (83’ Jojic), Hector – Osako – Terodde, Pizarro (60’ Bittencourt)
VfB Stuttgart: Zieler – Beck, Baumgartl, Pavard, Insua – Gentner, Ascacibar (66’ Aogo), Badstuber, Er. Thommy (77’ Akolo) – Ginczek (90’ Kaminski), M. Gomez
Goals: 1-0 Pizarro (7’, Osako), 1-1 Gomez (45’, Er. Thommy), 1-2 Gomez (45’, Er. Thommy), 1-3 Beck (57’, Er. Thommy), 2-3 Jojic (86’)
Yellow cards: Sorensen (53’) | Badstuber (34’), Baumgartl (85’), Gomez (90’)
Referee: Sören Storke
Attendance: 50,000 (sold out)