FC’s first game of the day pitted them against RSC Charleroi, who currently sit second in the Jupiler Pro League. Markus Gisdol gave a start to Elvis Rexhbecaj in midfield, a day after he made his move from VfL Wolfsburg. Jorge Meré also returned from his illness on Monday, and was able to take to the starting line-up.
They began well, with Kingsley Schindler’s powerful run in the opening minute allowing him space to cross for Anthony Modeste, but Nicolas Penneteau made a fine save. For a friendly, the game was of a high intensity to start. Mamadou Fall brought a good block from Lasse Sobiech, and again from Massimo Bruno. Although chances for Charleroi were few and far between.
Despite FC being in relative control, it was the Belgians who took the lead. A quick counter after FC lost the ball saw Massimo Bruno play in Ali Gholizadeh, and he lifted the ball over Thomas Kessler into the back of the net. Markus Gisdol’s men almost issued the perfect response but could only watch on as Lasse Sobiech’s header cracked the post. That’s how it stayed until the break, as FC went in behind.
Markus Gisdol brought on Brady Scott and Tim Lemperle at the break, and Lemperle’s mazy run at the start served for plenty of plaudits for the travelling fans. However, FC found themselves two behind. A poor back pass from Kingsley Schindler left Brady Scott stranded, and Kaveh Rezaei stole the ball to tap into an empty net.
It could have been three for Charleroi had it not been for a super stop from Brady Scott. The American shotstopper sprawled to his right to deny Massimo Bruno’s curling effort. That seemed to get FC going again, as Florian Kainz’s stinging drive from Anthony Modeste’s set-up almost brought a goal. Despite Penneteau’s save, Tim Lemperle was on hand to fire home to reduce the deficit.
As the Belgians began to make regular changes, the game began to lose rhythm and fouls started to dominate the game. Anthony Modeste was more than displeased, as they picked up two bookings in the second period. Unfortunately, despite the late efforts, FC weren’t able to get an equaliser.
1. FC Köln (4-3-3): Kessler (Scott 46‘) – Schindler, Sobiech, Meré, Schmitz – Verstraete (Lemperle 46‘), Höger, Rexhbecaj – Thielmann (Schneider 68‘), Modeste, Kainz.
RSC Charleroi (4-2-3-1): Penneteau – Busi (Marinos 73‘), Diagne (Willems 46‘), Dessoleil, Nurio – Ilaimaharitra (Hendrickx 63‘), Morioka – Fall (Henen 73‘), Bruno (Tsadjout 73‘), Gholizadeh (Nkuba 77‘) – Nicholson (Rezaei 46‘).
Goals: 0:1, Gholizadeh 21‘. 0:2, Razaei 52’. 1:2, Lemperle 67’.
Bookings: Busi (59‘), Nurio (81’).