Both sides were keen to get their league campaign off to the best possible start but clear-cut chances were at a premium in the early stages. Katharina Piljic shot just wide midway through the first-half before Weronika Zawistowska’s spectacular lob almost nestled in the far corner.
Manon Klett had to be alert twice to deny Essen in quick succession. After palming away Jill Baijings’ strong effort, Klett reacted quickly to deny Sterner’s volley. FC had the best chance of the first period after Ally Gudorf latched onto a misplaced pass. She managed to round Sophia Winkler, yet Piljic managed to scurry back and deny the FC winger before she could get a shot off. The game was goalless at the break.
In the second-half, it took just five minutes to break the deadlock. After a free-kick from Essen, FC were unable to clear the ball and Jill Baijings eventually managed to pick out the bottom corner from 12 yards. However, Sascha Glass’ side found an immediate answer. Mandy Islacker was fouled in the box and the Essen-born forward dusted herself down and picked out the bottom corner.
The dangerous Baijings tested Klett again from range, whilst Amber Barrett couldn’t find a way past Winkler with the game still wide open. The best chance for Essen in the second 45 minutes fell the way of Antonia Baaß. However, she was unable to connect properly with the ball and the opportunity was gone. FC picked up their first point and will now take on TSG Hoffenheim at home on Sunday.
SGS Essen (4-3-3): Winkler – Klasen, Räcke, S. Ostermeier, L. Ostermeier – Piljic, Senß, Baijings – Sterner (Baaß 64‘), Wamser (Hils 88‘), Berentzen (Endemann 64‘).
1. FC Köln (4-4-2): Klett – Horvat, Kuznik, Moorrees, Rinast – Gudorf, Wilde (Beckmann 64‘), Pfluger, Zawistowska (Barrett 75‘) – Beck, Islacker.
Goals: 1:0, Baijings 50’. 1:1, Islacker (PEN) 51’.
Referee: Vanessa Arlt (Münster).
Booked: S. Ostermeier (41’), Pfluger (59’), Räcke (78‘).