Steffen Baumgart made two changes to the team that started the game against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend. Jorge Meré and Mark Uth replaced Luca Kilian and Dejan Ljubicic in the line-up.
Stefan Leitl also opted for two alterations after defeat to Bayern Munich exactly a week ago. Marius Funk replaced Sascha Burchert in goal, while Timothy Tillman took the place of Julian Green in midfield.
Things started in the worst possible fashion for FC, as Fürth went ahead after just seven minutes. A clever piece of play saw the Shamrocks spread the ball quickly to the right-hand side where Marco Meyerhöfer managed to go unnoticed and slide past Timo Horn. It was an early wake-up call but one which went initially unheard. FC were relatively quiet going forward in the opening 20 minutes.
Fürth were defending well and while Mark Uth and co. were having a pop from distance, Marius Funk remained at ease between the sticks. At the other end, Jeremy Dudziak hit the inside of both posts in the space of a few seconds as FC were made to sweat. The best chance of the first-half for FC fell to Anthony Modeste, though his header from Jonas Hector’s cross was well-saved.
The second-half began with FC on top and they were immediately rewarded for their efforts. A clever piece of play from Benno Schmitz and Florian Kainz saw the former cross low to the back post, where Sebastian Andersson was waiting to slide in the equaliser. The relief around the stadium but especially with the Swede after his first goal of the season was clear for all to see.
Just five minutes later, FC were ahead. A corner from Florian Kainz was met by Jonas Hector at the near post and headed home by Ellyes Skhiri. A long VAR check followed to clear if Rafael Czichos got contact on the ball, but Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck eventually gave the goal. FC continued to pile forward but the goal to kill the game was sadly lacking, although Fürth were finding it hard to break through.
That was the case until the final minutes, though Steffen Baumgart’s team managed to strike the final blow. Louis Schaub collected the ball after a corner and drove directly towards the Fürth goal, Ellyes Skhiri’s 90 metre run saw him pick up Schaub’s pass and loop the ball over Marius Funk to send the RheinEnergieSTADION into the late Friday night with a skip in their step.
FC’s next game after the international break will see them take on TSG Hoffenheim in the PreZero Arena on Friday 15th October at 20:30 CEST.
1. FC Köln (4-1-3-2): T. Horn – Schmitz (Schaub 85‘), Meré, Czichos, Hector – Skhiri – Kainz (Schindler 78‘), Duda (Ljubicic 68‘), Uth – Andersson (Özcan 85‘), Modeste (Ehizibue 78‘).
Greuther Fürth (4-1-2-1-2): Funk – Meyerhöfer, Bauer, Viergever, Willems – Griesbeck (Christiansen 70‘) – Dudziak (Leweling 63‘) Tillman – Seguin – Nielsen (Abiama 76‘), Hrgota (Itten 63‘).
Goals: 0:1, Meyerhöfer 7‘. 1:1, Andersson 50’. 2:1, Skhiri 55‘. 3:1, Skhiri 89‘.
Referee: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck (Freiburg).
Booked: Griesbeck (24’), Andersson (68’).
Attendance: 40.000 (sold-out).
€ 79.99 *