Friedhelm Funkel opted for four alterations from the team that dumped Erzgebirge Aue out of the cup on Wednesday. Zack Steffen, Kaan Ayhan, Adam Bodzek and Jean Zimmer came into the starting in place of Florian Kastenmeier, Andre Hoffmann, Marcel Sobottka and Dawid Kownacki.
Achim Beierlorzer made five changes from the team that were beaten by 1. FC Saarbrücken in the DFB-Pokal. Benno Schmitz, Jorge Meré, Marcel Risse, Jhon Cordoba and Anthony Modeste all dropped to the bench as Kingsley Ehizibue, Rafael Czichos, Kingsley Schindler, Louis Schaub and Simon Terodde returned to the line-up.
As expected, both sides were keen to stamp their authority on the game early on. Unfortunately, Noah Katterbach was unable to continue after an early challenge and he was replaced by Marco Höger. FC had the first real opening of the game as a cross from the left was met by Simon Terodde, although his header was wide of the far post.
Achim Beierlorzer’s men were determined in their efforts to come forward but, sadly, the final pass was lacking. Fortuna’s best opening to date came when Rouwen Hennings’ header cracked the post from close range following Kaan Ayhan’s knockdown. FC were then dealt two swift yellow cards as they felt aggrieved at Sven Jablonski’s decision making.
There were, however, no complaints when Rafael Czichos fouled Alfredo Morales. Hennings stepped up and converted from the spot – the sixth time he scored the opening goals in a game this season. That seemed to wake FC up, but a late rally towards the end of the half was rewarded with nothing.
FC picked up where they left off at the end of the first-half. Simon Terodde came close to finding the equaliser, and Achim Beierlorzer’s side were then up in arms as Kingsley Schindler was pushed over in the box. To the dismay of the travelling supports and players, Jablonski waved away the appeals.
Simon Terodde was then denied against by Zack Steffen and, just as it looked like things were moving into place for an equaliser, Fortuna struck a hammer blow. A long clearance from Kaan Ayhan took everyone by surprise and Erik Thommy ran through on goal. Despite the best efforts of Kingsley Schindler to cover, he kept his cool to slot past Timo Horn.
From there on, Fortuna were able to control the game. Despite the introduction of Jhon Cordoba and Anthony Modeste, FC were unable to create anything of note. Achim Beierlorzer’s men are next in action on Friday, as they take on Hoffenheim on Friday evening at the RheinEnergieSTADION.
Fortuna Düsseldorf (4-2-3-1): Steffen – Zimmermann, Adams, Ayhan, Gießelmann – Morales (Sobottka 81‘), Bodzek – Zimmer (Kownacki 78‘), Fink (Hoffmann 67‘), Thommy – Hennings.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach (Höger 7‘) – Skhiri, Hector – Schindler (Modeste 79’), Schaub, Drexler (Cordoba 64‘) – Terodde.
Goals: 1:0, Hennings (PEN) 38’. 2:0, Thommy 61’.
Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen).
Bookings: Ehizibue (26’), Terodde (27’), Drexler (52’), Bodzek (87’).