Oliver Glasner made one change from the side that started the 2:1 win against Werder Bremen before the international break. Admir Mehmedi missed out through injury and was replaced by Jerome Roussillon, with Yannick Gerhardt moving into midfield.
Markus Gisdol, on the other hand, opted the same 11 players who started the game against Borussia Dortmund.
FC started the game with real purpose and looked to cause Wolfsburg problems from the very start. While the hosts looked dangerous from out wide, it was Gisdol’s charges who were the brightest going forward. Jonas Hector had the first opening of the game. A superb cross from Noah Katterbach was met by the FC captain, who thundered a volley onto the crossbar from four yards out.
Wolfsburg’s best chance in the first period fell to Xaver Schlager after a clever cut-back to the edge of the box. However, the Austrian’s effort drifted just wide of the post. FC continued to look dangerous, as Jonas Hector fired over from 25 yards. Dominick Drexler was at the back post a second too late to connect with another promising cross from Ismail Jakobs. It was goalless going into half-time.
The second-half saw Wolfsburg come out as the dominant side and look to force FC further and further back. The hosts were snuffing out the danger that Ismail Jakobs had caused in the first 45 minutes. That said, Wolfsburg were finding it difficult to really test Timo Horn. A tame header was all they were able to muster in the opening 15 minutes of the half.
However, the pressure eventually told. Wout Weghorst managed to bundle his way towards the box and stick a toe out to find Josip Brekalo. The Croatian then slammed past Timo Horn with the help of a deflection. In response, Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz came on as they returned from long injury absences. Emmanuel Dennis and Max Meyer were also brought off the bench late on.
It looked like there would be no further chances but for the 94th minute. A dangerous cross from Florian Kainz was perfectly placed for Ellyes Skhiri, who headed over from four yards out. FC had the opportunities to take more from the game and will go again on Sunday 11th April at 18:00 CEST.
VfL Wolfsburg (4-2-3-1): Casteels – Mbabu, Brooks, Lacroix, Roussillon (Philipp 62’) – Schlager (Guilavogui 90+3’), Arnold – Baku, Gerhardt, Brekalo (Joao Victor 73’) – Weghorst.
1. FC Köln (4-1-4-1): T. Horn – Ehizibue, Meré, Czichos, Katterbach (Kainz 75’) – Skhiri – Wolf (Dennis 81’), Drexler (Rexhbecaj 66’), Hector (Andersson 75’), Jakobs – Duda (Meyer 81’).
Goals: 1:0, Brekalo 69’.
Referee: Robert Hartmann (Wangen).
Booked: Mbabu (22’), Gerhardt (63’), Kainz (90+3’).
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