Steffen Baumgart made two changes to the team that started against Borussia Dortmund a week prior. Rafael Czichos and Florian Kainz returned to the starting side after illness, as Luca Kilian and Jan Thielmann dropped down to the bench.
Urs Fischer opted for five alterations after 2:1 defeat to Feyenoord during the week. Paul Jaeckel, Christopher Trimmel, Levin Öztunali, Kevin Behrens and Tymoteusz Puchacz made way for Timo Baumgartl, Niko Gießelmann, Julian Ryerson, Grischa Prömel and Taiwo Awoniyi.
The game promised action and promptly delivered. Florian Kainz let fly from 25 yards and his dipping drive crashed against the crossbar. Fortunately for FC, Anthony Modeste was on hand to pounce and give Steffen Baumgart’s side the perfect start. However, just two minutes later, Union got level. The visitors worked the ball well onto the right-hand side and Julian Ryerson’s clever curler found the bottom corner.
Aside from Genki Haraguchi’s effort from range, Union weren’t posing too many problems for the FC defence. Ondrej Duda shot just wide after a mazy run, while Anthony Modeste was denied by Andreas Luthe from close range. Union survived the barrage and went into the break ahead. After a mix up at the back, Haraguchi teed up Grischa Prömel to poke the capital club into a half-time advantage in added-time.
FC were the better side at the beginning of the second half and almost found an equaliser 10 minutes into the second period. A fine Florian Kainz free-kick was headed just off target by Jonas Hector. Union were, however, keeping Baumgart’s side at arm’s length and it wasn’t until the final 15 minutes where FC were finally able to test Andreas Luthe in the Union goal.
Jonas Hector’s shot was turned wide by the visiting stopper but he was powerless to prevent Anthony Modeste’s bullet header from finding the back of the net. Florian Kainz had a glorious chance to win the game moments later, only for his volley to loop over the bar. Andreas Voglsammer was kept out by Timo Horn, in an exciting end to a dreary second-half.
FC are next in action after the international break, facing 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the MEWA Arena on Sunday 21st November at 17:30 CET.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Schmitz, Hübers (Kilian 65‘), Czichos, Hector – Ljubicic, Özcan – Kainz, Duda (Thielmann 65‘), Uth (Andersson 77‘) – Modeste.
1. FC Union Berlin (3-3-2-2): Luthe – Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl – Ryerson, Khedira, Gießelmann – Haraguchi (Öztunali 84‘), Prömel – Becker (Voglsammer 72‘), Awoniyi (Behrens 84‘).
Goals: 1:0, Modeste 7’. 1:1, Ryerson 9’. 1:2, Prömel 45+1’. 2:2, Modeste 86’.
Referee: Tobias Stieler (Hamburg).
Booked: Baumgartl (16’), Modeste (17’), Luthe (18’), Duda (54’).
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