Heiko Herrlich opted for rotation during the week against Eintracht Frankfurt and returned to a more familiar starting side on Friday. Rafal Gikiewicz, Reece Oxford and Carlos Gruezo survived the switches.
Friedhelm Funkel made three changes to the starting line-up that began the game against Leipzig. Benno Schmitz, Florian Kainz and Sebastian Andersson replaced Kingsley Ehizibue, Elvis Rexhbecaj and Dominick Drexler.
After an early Sebastian Andersson chance, it was clear to see that FC were confident following the win against Leipzig. However, how the opening goal came about was a touch of top-drawer quality. A quick throw-in from Jannes Horn found Ellyes Skhiri, who turned and cross to the edge of the box. Ondrej Duda, on his weaker foot, swivelled and fired the ball full on the volley into the top corner.
Things got even better 15 minutes later. A some sustained pressure, FC got back on the ball and began to build from the back. A lovely 20-pass move ended with Benno Schmitz crossing low into the box. Marius Wolf’s dummy allowed Florian Kainz to pounce, slotting low and hard into the bottom right corner.
It was another fine team move that earned a third goal. FC managed to work the ball down the right-hand side once more, as Marius Wolf picked out the oncoming Ondrej Duda. Duda met the ball perfectly and fired into the near post, with Rafal Gikiewicz powerless once more. Augsburg issued a response late on, as Robert Gumny’s header cracked the crossbar just before the break.
Augsburg were the better side at the beginning of the second half. Timo Horn was forced into an early save to tip over Ruben Vargas’ stinging volley. However, Horn was powerless to prevent the hosts from reducing the deficit. Frederik Jensen was initially denied by Timo Horn but Robert Gumny pounced at the back post to fire home.
The hosts continued to come forward but were close to being caught on the break. Ondrej Duda played through Marius Wolf, who fired inches wide of the far post. Despite the warning eight minutes into the second-half, FC let Augsburg in behind again. A cross to the back post wasn’t dealt with and Ruben Vargas managed to poke past the FC defence.
As Augsburg piled on the pressure, FC dug in deep. Ellyes Skhiri made a last-ditch clearance off the line to stop Robert Gumny’s header from looping in. That is how the game ended, as after six minutes of added time Martin Petersen blew his whistle for the final time. FC are next in action against SC Freiburg in two weeks’ time on 9th May at 13:30 CEST.
Augsburg (4-4-2): Gikiewicz – Framberger (Gumny 42‘), Gouweleeuw, Oxford, Iago – Caligiuri (Richter 87’), Strobl (Moravek 42‘), Greuzo, Vargas – Hahn, Finnbogason (Jensen 46‘).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Schmitz, Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn (Katterbach 65‘) – Hector, Skhiri – Wolf, Duda, Kainz (Drexler 69‘) – Andersson (Rexhbecaj 79‘).
Goals: 0:1, Duda 7‘. 0:2, Kainz 22‘. 0:3, Duda 33‘. 1:3, Gumny 53’. 2:3, Vargas 62’.
Referee: Martin Petersen (Stuttgart).
Booked: Wolf (45‘), Gumny (45+2‘), Greuzo (52‘), Rexhbecaj (80’), Duda (90+1’).
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