Dino Toppmöller opted for two alterations after Eintracht Frankfurt successfully navigated their way into the group stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League. Hugo Larsson and Philipp Max came into the line-up in place of Kristijan Jakic and Paxten Aaronson.
Steffen Baumgart made two changes from the side that started against VfL Wolfsburg last weekend. Linton Maina and Steffen Tigges replaced Rasmus Carstensen and Davie Selke.
The opening 20 minutes of the game provided little in the way for both sets of fans to get excited. Frankfurt were more active, FC taking their time before moving forward. Eric Dina Ebimbe had Frankfurt’s two best chances, first firing low at Marvin Schwäbe before blazing over after a mazy run from the dangerous Aurélio Buta.
After the half-hour mark, Steffen Baumgart’s side began to find a footing in the game. Linton Maina was causing more and more problems for the Frankfurt defence but it was the right-hand-side that provided the key moment. Benno Schmitz found Eric Martel on the overlap, only to be hacked down by Philipp Max. Florian Kainz converted the resulting spot-kick confidently down the middle to give FC the lead at the break.
After the restart, Frankfurt came out firing. It took brilliant blocks from Eric Martel, Leart Pacarada and Jeff Chabot in the space of five minutes to deny wave after wave of Frankfurt attack. The game began to calm down somewhat as both sides made changes to bring on some fresh legs to breathe new life into the game.
It looked like FC had secured their first win of the season, only for Frankfurt to strike late. Niels Nkounkou picked up Jens Petter Hauge’s pass and found the bottom corner with precision to secure a share of the spoils for the home side. FC are next in action on Wednesday evening, as they take on Bergisch Gladbach in the international break.
Eintracht Frankfurt (3-4-3): Trapp – Tuta, Koch, Pacho – Buta (Aaronson 80’), Larsson (Rode 73‘), Skhiri, Max (Hauge 46‘) – Götze, Marmoush (Ngankam 67‘), Ebimbe (Nkounkou 73‘).
1. FC Köln (4-3-3): Schwäbe – Schmitz (Carstensen 74‘), Hübers, Chabot (Kilian 79‘), Pacarada – Ljubicic, Martel, Kainz – Waldschmidt (Olesen 58‘), Tigges (Adamyan 74‘), Maina (Alidou 58‘).
Goals: 0:1, Kainz (PEN) 43’. 1:1, Nkounkou 87‘.
Referee: Florian Badstübner (Nürnberg).
Booked: Ljubicic (45+1’), Martel (45+3’), Marmoush (64’), Schmitz (70’).
Attendance: 54,000 (sold-out).