Ole Werner made four alterations after the 1:0 win. Johannes van den Bergh, Aleksandar Ignjovski, Niklas Hauptmann and Janni Serra dropped out. In their place started Simon Lorenz, Jonas Meffert, Alexander Mühling and Fabian Reese.
Friedhelm Funkel opted for four changes from the side that started the first leg. Kingsley Ehizibue, Jannes Horn, Florian Kainz and Sebastian Andersson replaced Benno Schmitz, Noah Katterbach, Salih Özcan and Ismail Jakobs.
The game was less than 180 seconds old when the opening goal arrived. Ondrej Duda worked some space out on the left-hand side before crossing to Jonas Hector, who managed to flick a sublime header into the far corner. The hopes of consolidating the lead were quickly dashed. After Timo Horn denied Finn Porath before Jae-sung Lee headed in the rebound to level the scores.
However, just two minutes later and in just the sixth minute of the match, FC went ahead again. It was another attack down the left and, this time, Florian Kainz picked out a perfect cross to Sebastian Andersson and the Swede powered an unstoppable header past Ioannis Gelios. In the 13th minute, it was the same duo who combined to put FC in an even better position with a third goal.
A period of relative calm followed, though Friedhelm Funkel’s side were on top and seeing the better of the chances. Just as Kiel looked to be turning the tide, FC managed to grab a fourth goal. A Jannes Horn ball forward was nodded down by Jonas Hector and former Kiel defender, Rafael Czichos struck a superb half-volley that left Gelios helpless and FC in a great position going into half-time.
The second-half began with changes for both sides, as Funkel brought on Jorge Meré and Ismail Jakobs in place of Sebastiaan Bornauw and Jannes Horn, who were both booked. The second period began with a Kiel chance as Benjamin Girth headed over a Lee cross-field pass, but the hosts were finding it hard to break down the FC backline.
Instead, it was the team in red who were making all the running. Sebastian Andersson was denied by a clearance off the line and by a spectacular Gelios save. The Kiel ‘keeper made a superb double save to keep out Florian Kainz and Ondrej Duda, and then made another stellar stop to keep out Dominick Drexler one-on-one.
There would be one final goal and with Kiel fully focused on going forward, it fell the way of FC. Ismail Jakobs’ quick-thinking picked out Jan Thielmann, who set up Ellyes Skhiri to crown the day and the season for the Tunisian. The celebrations began and carried on until long after the final whistle, as FC secured their place in the 2021-22 Bundesliga.
Holstein Kiel (4-1-4-1): Gelios – Komenda (Kirkesov 63‘), Wahl, Lorenz (Mees 46‘), Neumann – Meffert – Bartels, Lee, Mühling, Porath (Girth 46‘) – Reese (Awuku 82‘).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): T. Horn – Ehizibue, Bornauw (Meré 46‘), Czichos, J. Horn (Jakobs 46‘) – Skhiri, Hector – Wolf (Thielmann 72‘), Duda (Meyer 63‘), Kainz – Andersson (Drexler 76‘).
Goals: 0:1, Hector 3’. 1:1, Lee 4’. 1:2, Andersson 6’. 1:3, Andersson 13’. 1:4, Czichos 39’. 1:5, Skhiri 84’.
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach).
Booked: Bornauw (28’), Porath (32’), J. Horn (45’), T. Horn (63’), Thielmann (88’).
€ 49.99 *