Friedhelm Funkel made two changes to the starting line-up from the win over Schalke. Ellyes Skhiri and Ismail Jakobs returned after their suspensions, replacing Florian Kainz and Sebastian Andersson.
Ole Werner opted for five alterations after defeat to Darmstadt at the weekend. Ioannis Gelios, Marco Komenda, Aleksandar Ignjovski, Niklas Hauptmann and Fin Porath came in for Thomas Dähne, Simon Lorenz, Jonas Meffert, Alexander Mühling and Fabian Reese.
The game started in a lively fashion and Jonas Hector had the first opening after just 80 seconds. The FC captain got free in the box to turn and shoot, though Marco Komenda was able to get in the way. From the resulting corner, Marius Wolf required treatment after a clash with Sebastiaan Bornauw. After a five-minute period, he was eventually able to continue.
Finn Porath had Kiel’s notable chance in the first period, though his curling effort after cutting inside drifted wide. Noah Katterbach and Fin Bartels both bookings in a contested first 45 minutes, before Hector had another shot deflected over the crossbar. There was a moment of real controversy late on, as Felix Zwayer decided to award just a yellow card to Aleksandar Ignjovski for a tough challenge on Ondrej Duda. Opportunities were generally at a premium in a tight first-half.
Friedhelm Funkel made one change at the break as Dominick Drexler replaced Noah Katterbach. Johannes van den Bergh, Ellyes Skhiri and Marius Wolf were all booked in a frantic start to the half. Kiel took the lead just before the hour mark as Simon Lorenz, who had just been brought on for Aleksandar Ignjovski, headed home after Lee nodded back into the box.
FC went in search of an equaliser as Skhiri fired into the chest of Ioannis Gelios, Jonas Hector managed to put the ball over the line but again he was denied by the referee. Janni Serra hit the bar with a header before Phil Neumann cleared off the line and Sebastian Andersson’s rebound was blocked as FC fell to defeat. The return leg is in Kiel on Saturday at 18:00 CEST.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Schmitz, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach (Drexler 46‘) – Skhiri, Özcan (Andersson 66‘) – Wolf (Thielmann 66‘), Duda, Jakobs – Hector.
Holstein Kiel (4-3-3): Gelios – Neumann, Komenda, Wahl, van den Bergh – Hauptmann, Ignjovski (Lorenz 59‘), Lee – Bartels (Mees 79‘), Serra (Girth 79‘), Porath (Reese 67‘).
Goals: 0:1, Lorenz 59‘.
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin).
Booked: Katterbach (14’), Bartels (41’), Ignjovski (45‘), van den Bergh (46‘), Skhiri (51‘), Wolf (53‘), Czichos (90‘).
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