Steffen Baumgart made just one change to the line-up following the final training camp friendly. Salih Özcan replaced Dejan Ljubicic in midfield, as the starting side remained almost entirely the same.
FC were the dominant side from the very start. Anthony Modeste and Jan Thielmann both had promising headed opponents in the early stages. While the former was denied by Rody de Boer, Thielmann’s header went narrowly wide. The front two were looking dangerous for Baumgart’s side. Modeste went close again when he tried a half-volley from the edge of the area. It whistled just off target, however.
Roda were defending bravely but were unable to make any inroads against the FC as the midfield pushed up at every sign of a 50-50. Modeste went close with a long-range volley, as he continued to cause problems for the visiting side’s defence. Timo Hübers brought a superb save out of de Boer, who was proving to be a worthy opponent in the Roda goal.
Just as it looked like FC were set to score the opener, it was the visitors who went ahead. Patrick Pflücke found space on the left and picked out a superb pass to Denzel Jubitana, who swept home an equally impressive half-volley. Mark Uth almost levelled late on in the first period, yet the left hand of de Boer managed to claw out his powerful strike from 20 yards.
Baumgart made three changes at the break as Marvin Schwäbe, Ellyes Skhiri and Ondrej Duda came off the bench. There was some early pressure from FC yet there were little in the way of clear-cut chances. Mark Uth looked the most likely to find a way though, yet de Boer continued to thwart everything that was thrown in his direction.
Sebastian Andersson went closer still with a header, the Swede hung in the air but his powerful effort was clear of the crossbar. While Roda looked to counter, FC finally got the goal they were hoping for with four minutes left on the clock. A period of pressure eventually saw the ball fall to Tim Lemperle, who managed to swivel and find the back of the net from four yards out.
It is just over one week until Steffen Baumgart’s first competitive game as head coach. FC Carl Zeiss Jena are FC’s opponents in the first round of the DFB-Pokal at 15:30 CEST on Sunday at the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld.
1. FC Köln (4-1-3-2): T. Horn (Schwäbe 46‘) – Ehizibue (Schindler 60’), Hübers (Meré 60’), Czichos (Ljubicic 74’), Schmitz (Katterbach 74’) – Özcan (Skhiri 46‘) – Kainz (Schaub 60’), Uth (Ostrak 74’), Hector (Lemperle 74’) – Modeste (Duda 46’), Thielmann (Andersson 60’).
Roda JC Kerkrade (4-4-2): de Boer – Marzo, Joppen, Jensen, Absalem – Pflücke (Lambrix 81’), Bouchouari (Vijgen 87’), Klaasen, Jubitana (Takadine 63‘) – Vossebelt (Souren 68‘), Serrarens.
Goals: 0:1, Jubitana 37‘. 1:1, Lemperle 86‘.
Referee: Marc Jäger (Euskirchen).
Booked: Jensen (54’).
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