Photo: Leon Kuegeler/Getty Images
At the end of the 14th matchday of the Bundesliga, 1. FC Köln and FSV Mainz 05 fought a real relegation battle. No goals were scored in a hard-fought but not very entertaining game. The match was the contrast to the fast-paced afternoon game between VfB Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen.
For Mainz, the draw was at least a little worth it, thanks to the better goal difference they are now 17th in the table, last is Darmstadt 98.
Mainz had their first good chance in the fourth minute. Jonathan Burkardt was back in the starting line-up for the first time after more than a year out injured, but his shot from the penalty spot was blocked.
Cologne's first promising approach to goal was created by Luca Waldschmidt. The attacker was given space and marched through the opponent's half, he finished from distance, FSV goalkeeper Daniel Batz saved (13th minute).
Although Cologne played in their home Rhein-Energie Stadium, the guests from Mainz were the active team. It was dangerous again in front of the FC goal when Brajan Gruda failed to head past the Cologne goalkeeper at the far post from a metre and an acute angle (25').
In the second half, too, it remained a tough game in rainy Müngersdorf. One of the few footballing bright spots was not rewarded due to a narrow offside position: After a wonderful through ball from Leandro Barreiro to Burkhardt, the 23-year-old hit the right corner in the penalty area, but the linesman raised the flag (60').
In the 74th minute, Ludovic Ajorque broke through in the Cologne box, but was denied by FC goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe. The final phase then belonged to Cologne, who, encouraged by the fan chants, discovered their desire to attack. A cross from Jan Thielmann sailed over keeper Batz and onto the inside of the post (80').