Professionals | 17/08/2019

Beaten by Wolfsburg

FC fall to defeat in opening game

Despite a late goal from Simon Terodde, 1. FC Köln fell to defeat in their opening Bundesliga game of the 2019-20 season. Maximilian Arnold and Wout Weghorst goals gave VfL Wolfsburg 2:1 win at Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Oliver Glasner, taking charge of his first Bundesliga game, opted for one alteration from the team that got past Hallescher FC in extra-time. That saw former FC youth academy player, Yannick Gerhardt drop to the bench as Xaver Schlager started in his place.

Achim Beierlorzer also made one change to the side that beat Wehen Wiesbaden on penalties. That saw Marco Höger come in to bolster the midfield, and replace the suspended Jhon Cordoba. There were debuts in the Bundesliga for Kingsley Ehizibue, Rafael Czichos, Birger Verstraete, Kingsley Schindler and Dominick Drexler.

FC behind at the break

The opening 10 minutes saw both sides try to made early headway, but were halted by sturdy defensive work. Jerome Roussillon was keen to work down the left, as was Florian Kainz. The early FC pressing created the opening chance of the game, as Kingsley Schindler played the ball back to Anthony Modeste on the edge of the area. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, it was deflected behind by Joshua Guilavogui.

Despite the good start, FC would find themselves behind. A throw-in was cleared twice but not far enough, and a sweet strike from Maximilian Arnold’s left foot left Timo Horn helpless as it swerved into the bottom corner. Even after falling behind, FC weren’t disheartened and continued to try and find a way forward in the middle period of the half.

FC kept pressing and felt they should have had a penalty when Dominick Drexler was clipped in the box by Joshua Guilavogui. Despite the protests, Sven Jablonski waved away the appeals. Achim Beierlorzer’s men were keen to get an equaliser to show for their efforts, but Wolfsburg’s rearguard continued to prove tricky to break down.

Terodde goal too late

Both teams came out unchanged for the second half, but it was Wolfsburg who started the better of the two. They brought two decent saves from Timo Horn, as he denied Felix Klaus and then sprang onto a Roussillon cross. 10 minutes into the second period, Ellyes Skhiri was brought on for Marco Höger to earn a first taste of Bundesliga football.

Wolfsburg made the most of that pressure and doubled their lead on the hour-mark. The hosts won the ball back in midfield and move forward with pace, as Wout Weghorst was fed by Schlager. The Dutchman managed to get through on goal, and fired into the far corner past the outstretched Timo Horn.

The second goal somewhat killed the game, and at least rocked FC’s confidence. Even though Achim Beierlorzer’s side had more of the ball during the game, they were struggling to hold the ball up top. Birger Verstraete battled away in midfield, and Simon Terodde’s late, left-foot volley was well-blocked by Joshua Guilavogui.

However, there would be reason to celebrate for the FC fans. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the Wolfsburg defence and Terodde powered through to poke past Koen Casteels. It would prove to be momentary joy, as the full-time whistle sounded moments later. FC return to the Köln and will face Borussia Dortmund next Friday at the RheinEnergieSTADION.

Line-ups

VfL Wolfsburg (3-4-3): Casteels – Knoche, Guilavogui, Brooks – William, Schlager, Arnold, Roussillon (Steffen 74’) – Klaus (Brekalo 82’), Weghorst (Nmecha 87’), Joao Victor.

1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Horn – Ehizibue, Meré, Czichos, Hector – Höger (Skhiri 56‘), Verstraete – Schindler, Drexler (Terodde 62‘), Kainz (Churlinov 70’) – Modeste.

Goals: 1:0, Arnold 16’. 2:0, Weghorst 60’. 2:1, Terodde 90+1’.

Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen).

Bookings: Höger (26’), Drexler (49’), Steffen (75’), Meré (90+2’).

Attendance: 25,099.

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PL. Team Pt.
14 FC Augsburg 4
15 1. FC Köln 3
16 1. FSV Mainz 05 3

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