Christian Streich was forced into his one and only change from the line-up that began against Stuttgart. Niclas Höfler missed out due to a foot injury and was replaced by Maximilian Eggestein.
Steffen Baumgart made two alterations from the team that started the game against VfL Bochum before the international break. Salih Özcan and Mark Uth came into the side in place of Ellyes Skhiri and Ondrej Duda.
The first-half began as everyone expected, with both teams trying to find an early goal. Freiburg had a great chance through Maximilian Eggestein as he poked past the far post, only for the offside flag to go up. FC responded in kind, with Mark Uth drilling a low shot towards goal and bringing out the best in an alert Mark Flekken.
After Vincenzo Grifo’s header in the 11th minute, FC were in total control and continued to crank up the pressure. Benno Schmitz and Florian Kainz were looking especially lively on the flanks. Mark Uth fired straight at Flekken before his cross went narrowly out of Sebastian Andersson’s reach. Kainz and Andersson had further openings in what was an impressive half hour.
The breakthrough finally arrived not long later. A fantastic cross from Benno Schmitz picked out Anthony Modeste, who put the ball back from where it came and into the corner of the goal. The Frenchman sped off to celebrate his third goal of the season with Steffen Baumgart. Mark Uth hit the post two minutes later, as FC went into the break with a deserved lead.
The second period began with a Freiburg change, as Janik Haberer replaced Maximilian Eggestein. Christian Streich’s side began the stronger of the two teams after the restart, as Woo-yeong Jeong tested Timo Horn before a stunning reaction save to deny Yannick Keitel. FC finally managed to find a footing in the game, only to see Sebastian Andersson’s volley deflected narrowly over the bar.
Florian Kainz and Christian Günter both traded efforts midway through the half but Freiburg were the side pushing forward. A coming together between Kevin Schade and Kainz saw both players booked and the Austrian given his marching orders. Schade then showed just how dangerous he can be, driving inches past the post from 20 yards out.
Freiburg continued to press but it was FC who had the chance to kill the game. Ondrej Duda broke free after a mistake in defence and then opted not to shoot before being tackled just in time. Noah Weißhaupt, who had been brought on just moments before, turned provider for the equaliser. His low cross was turned into his own goal by unfortunate Rafael Czichos.
FC move onto seven points from four games despite the late equaliser and welcome Leipzig to the RheinEnergieSTADION on Saturday evening at 18:30 CEST next week.
SC Freiburg (4-4-2): Flekken – Kübler (Weißhaupt 88‘), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Günter – Sallai (Schade 72‘), Keitel, Eggestein (Haberer 46‘), Grifo – Höler (Demirovic 82‘), Jeong (Petersen 72‘).
1. FC Köln (4-1-3-2): T. Horn – Schmitz, Meré, Czichos, Hector – Ljubicic (Ostrak 82‘) – Özcan (Duda 69‘), Uth (Skhiri 62‘), Kainz – Modeste (Lemperle 69‘), Andersson (Schaub 82‘).
Goals: 0:1, Modeste 35’. 1:1, Czichos OG 89’.
Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover).
Booked: Modeste (69’), Schade (74’), Lienhart (75’).
Sent-off: Kainz (74’).
Attendance: 10,000 (sold-out).
€ 79.99 *