FC head coach Sascha Glass handed debuts to four new signings on the opening day, as Manon Klett, Mandy Islacker, Sharon Beck and Anja Pfluger all started the game.
After Saarbrücken had the first shot of note in the game after a clever cutback, FC began to take control of the game. Rachel Rinast’s corner almost caught out Patricia Chladekova, before the Swiss international saw her cross come back out off the bar. The breakthrough arrived just before the 20 minute mark, as Rinast played in Amber Barrett to coolly finish from close range.
While FC were enjoying the better of the play and the chances, Manon Klett was doing well to keep Saarbrücken away from goal. The new FC stopper had to make an important save from Leonie Stöhr after she got in behind the defence. Just before half-time, Saarbrücken managed to grab an equaliser. Leonie Stöhr crossed from the left and Taylor Cohen managed to poked in at the near post.
That seemed to get Glass’ side going just before the break, as FC had two golden chances to go ahead. The first came after some good work out wide from Amber Barrett, though Eunice Beckmann’s effort was well-saved by Chladekova. Barrett again turned provider moments later, though Mandy Islacker fired wide of the mark at the near post.
The second half began with a change, as Kristina Hild replaced Sabrina Horvat in defence. The first chance came not long after, as Barrett played in Islacker only for Chladekova to save with her legs. FC were in charge as Islacker and Barrett continued to link up well. However, the final pass or shot was lacking as the promising play went without reward.
The pressure was mounting on a staunch Saarbrücken defence and Mandy Islacker almost grabbed her first goal for the club, though she couldn’t make a clean connection from five yards. The elusive goal finally fell in the last 20 minutes of the match. A superb move saw Islacker tee up Anja Pfluger, who found the bottom corner with a strong 20-yard drive.
Barrett almost had a third as she rounded the Chladekova, only to see her effort cleared just before the line. A deserved three points in their first game of the season will mean Sascha Glass’ side will be hoping to make it two from two next weekend against FC Bayern München II.
1. FC Köln (4-4-2): Klett – Horvat (Hild 46‘), Calo, Nietgen, Hirano – Beckmann, Beck, Pfluger (Gosch 75’), Rinast – Islacker (Kohr 90‘), Barrett.
1. FC Saarbrücken (4-4-2): Chladekova – Clausen, Bogenschütz, Brauschnweig, Preuß – Douglas (Correia 85‘), Steimer (Kolenickova 80‘), Anstatt, Cohen (Herrmann 80‘) – Stöhr (Mayer 63‘), Matuschewski.
Goals: 1:0, Barrett 18’. 1:1, Cohen 37’. 2:1, Pfluger 72‘.
Referee: Kathrin Heimann.
Booked: Nietgen (70‘), Braunschweig (75‘).