Professionals | 31/08/2019

Late Skhiri strike

FC win in Freiburg

1. FC Köln ended a 23-year wait for a win in Freiburg thanks to a 2:1 victory in added time. Ellyes Skhiri and Anthony Modeste turned the game around in the second half after a Rafael Czichos own-goal meant FC were behind at the break.

Christian Streich opted for just a single alteration following the 3:1 win in Freiburg last time out. That saw Chang-Hoon Kwon come into the starting line-up as Jerome Gondorf dropped out of the squad.

With Jhon Cordoba unavailable due to injury, Achim Beierlorzer’s only change from the line-up against Borussia Dortmund was an enforced one. That saw the Colombian replaced by Louis Schaub.

FC behind at the break

The game kicked into gear in the first minute, as Timo Horn had to bravely punch clear an effort from Christian Günter. Luca Waldschmidt, fresh from his first call up to the Germany squad, flashed a volley high and wide in what was a promising opening from the hosts. However, FC were not going to rest on their laurels and looked dangerous in their own attacking ventures.

A few fine pieces of play saw Achim Beierlorzer’s men work space between the centre-back and wing-back. That allowed Ellyes Skhiri into a promising position, but his shot squirmed across the face of goal. Kingsley Schindler’s cross was just too high for the rising Anthony Modeste at the back post, while Louis Schaub looked busy on his return to the team.

What happened at the end of the first half was to everyone’s surprise. After Louis Schaub had played in Kingsley Schindler, he had scored what appeared to be his first FC goal. However, after minutes of deliberation, the goal was pulled back in the build-up. From the restart in play, Freiburg took advantage of a shocked FC and Christian Günter’s cross saw Rafael Czichos put through his own net.

Special from Skhiri

VAR threatened to intervene again at the start of the second half, but there was little doing for a potential foul on Kingsley Schindler. However, FC did get their deserved leveller. A fine cross from Ellyes Skhiri on the left hand side saw Anthony Modeste rise above the rest and power home a header off the underside of the crossbar.

FC continued to look dangerous and almost found a second. It was, once more, a cross from the left to created the danger. Jonas Hector picked out Louis Schaub, half-volley was bravely blocked by Günter. Freiburg came forward themselves, as they attempted to restore their lead. Jonathan Schmid’s fizzing free-kick was narrowly the wrong side of the upright.

Freiburg kept pressing, while FC looked to hit on the break with a duo of Modeste and Simon Terodde. Nils Petersen dragged a half volley narrowly past the post after a pin-point pass forward, while Luca Waldschmidt grazed the top of the bar with a wicked effort. Robert Koch also tried his luck, but Timo Horn was alert at the near post to beat away his effort.

It looked for all the world like the game would end in a draw, but FC struck late to win it. Ellyes Skhiri picked the ball up 40 yards from goal and marauded forward, leaving the Freiburg players on his back. Undeterred, space opened up in the box and at the near post for him to slam home and send the travelling support and players wild.

FC head into the international break with three points from three games, with a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach to follow on their return.


SC Freiburg (3-4-3): Schwolow – Lienhart, Koch, Schlotterbeck – Schmid, Kwon (Haberer 46‘), Höfler, Günter – Waldschmidt (Sallai 79‘), Petersen, Borrello (Höler 60‘).

1. FC Köln (4-4-2): Horn – Ehizibue (Meré 46‘), Bornauw, Czichos, Hector – Schaub (Kainz 84‘), Verstraete, Skhiri, Drexler – Schindler (Terodde 77‘), Modeste.

Goals: 1:0, Czichos OG 41‘. 1:1, Modeste 52‘. 1:2, Skhiri 90+2’.

Referee: Dr. Robert Kampka (Mainz).

Booked: Hector (44‘), Meré (53‘).

Attendance: 24,000 (sold-out).

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Total table
9TSG 1899 Hoffenheim36
101. FC Köln34
11Hertha BSC34