Pellegrino Matarazzo opted for three alterations after VfB rescued a point late on against Union on Sunday. Atakan Karazor, Nikolas Nartey and Hamid Al Ghaddioui dropped out and were replaced by Orel Mangala, Daniel Didavi and Mateo Klimowicz.
Steffen Baumgart made eight changes following the 2:2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend. The only players to survive the rotation were Jonas Hector, Salih Özcan and Dejan Ljubicic.
The game was lively and intense from the start. Although, despite the best will of both times, there was little in the way of clear-cut chances. Chris Führich tested Marvin Schwäbe early on as Jan Thielmann fired over from long-range. Thielmann was lively but without any luck in front of the Stuttgart goal, as Fabian Bredlow was a spectactor in the first-half.
The most meaningful effort of the first period came through Konstantinos Mavropanos, who intercepted the ball before sending a stinging drive at Schwäbe’s goal. The FC stopper was equal to the attempt, however. The game headed into the break level with little in the way to separate the sides.
After the break, there was an early scare after Marvin Schwäbe almost dropped the ball into his own net. Mark Uth had come off the bench and was proving to be a real threat to the home side. Jan Thielmann tested Bredlow after a quick break, but the breakthrough finally came after Anthony Modeste came onto the pitch. He thundered home the rebound from Uth’s shot was saved.
Five minutes later, Modeste did it again. Ondrej Duda picked out the Frenchman at the back post and he made no mistake from close range to kill the game off. FC played out the final few minutes without any issues. Modeste almost added a third with a late header but there were no complaints as the full-time whistle went and a place in the next round was secured.
FC are into the Last 16 for the second season in a row and will find out their opponent on Sunday during the draw live in Sportschau. Before then, FC take on Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday afternoon.
VfB Stuttgart (3-4-2-1): Bredlow – Mavropanos (Anton 79‘), Ito, Kempf (Ahamada 73‘) – Coulibaly, Endo, Mangala, Sosa – Didavi (Al Ghaddioui 73‘), Führich (Beyaz 79‘) – Klimowicz (Faghir 62‘).
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Schwäbe – Schindler, Meré, Hübers, Hector – Ljubicic (Duda 72‘), Özcan – Thielmann (Obuz 90+2‘), Schaub (Modeste 72‘), Ostrak (Uth 46‘) – Andersson (Lemperle 85‘).
Goals: 0:1, Modeste 72‘. 0:2, Modeste 77’.
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach).
Booked: Uth (75’), Ahamada (86’).
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