FC began the game well and were enjoying plenty of the ball early on. While Sand attempted to press high, Sascha Glass’ side were keen to try and play their way out. Karoline Kohr had the first attempt of the game, yet her acrobatic volley brought a flying save from Charlotte Voss in the Sand goal. Theresa Gosch fired over moments later from the edge of the area in a promising first 15 minutes.
FC went closer still as the fine start continued. A long ball over the top from Rachel Rinast picked out the run of Amber Barrett, and the Irish forward cracked the crossbar with a thundering half-volley. Gosch and Barrett were proving a real handful for Sand and as the latter teed up the midfielder, Gosch saw her powerful drive fly narrowly wide of the far post.
Sand slowly began to find their way into the game but saw little in the way of chances. Dörthe Hoppious had their best opportunity of the half, only to see her effort go well past Elvira Herzog’s goal. Gosch had another late shot from the edge of the area before Kohr had the best opening. Her hard work paid off to get through on goal, yet Voll was on hand to make a vital save.
The second-half picked up where the first left off, with FC on the attack. Amber Barrett had two early openings where Voll had to be alert once more. Sand issued a quick response, with Elvira Herzog holding on well to Agnieszka Winczo’s header. That was a sign of more to come, with Herzog then making an even better save to keep out Ricarda Schaber’s one-on-one chance.
Elvira Herzog had to claw a cross out of the top corner before Yuka Hirano curled a shot wide on the break. However, just after the hour mark, the breakthrough finally arrived. Theresa Gosch broke through on goal and was denied by Voll, yet Amber Barrett was on hand to fire home and give FC the lead that they so richly deserved.
The remainder of the game was a real battle with little in the way of chances for either side. However, despite the win, FC were relegated to 2. Bundesliga after Duisburg’s win in Jena.
1. FC Köln (4-4-2): Herzog – Hirano, Calo, Nietgen, Hild – Beckmann (Schraa 90‘), Tietge, Gosch, Rinast – Barrett (Linden 85’), Kohr (Giraud 57‘).
SC Sand (4-4-2): Voll – Pinther, Brandenburg, Moorrees, Fiebig – Blagojevic, Prohaska (Gavar 79‘), van Bonn, Schaber (Lohmann 79‘) – Hoppius (Sehan 73‘), Winczo.
Goals: 1:0, Barrett 62‘.
Referee: Nadine Westerhoff (Bochum).