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CÓRDOBA HITS THREE AS BOYS IN BROWN LOSE AT COLOGNE

It was their second big game in five days but this one ended in defeat. After the 3-2 home win over Union Berlin on Monday, the Boys in Brown went down 4-1 at FC Cologne on Friday evening. Jhon Córdoba gave the Billy Goats the lead on 32, but Alex Meier restored parity six minutes later. Two second-half strikes from Córdoba put Cologne on the road to victory before Simon Terodde put the result beyond doubt five minutes from time.

Head coach Markus Kauczinski made five changes to the side that beat Union Berlin last time out. Robin Himmelmann failed a late fitness test on a muscle problem and was replaced by Svend Brodersen for his second division debut. Johannes Flum (rib injury) also missed out. His place alongside Marvin Knoll in holding midfield was taken by Jeremy Dudziak. Justin Hoogma came in for his first-team debut, joining fellow central defenders Florian Carstens and Christopher Avevor in a back three, while Luca Zander and Christopher Buchtmann got the nod in midfield. Daniel Buballa, Waldemar Sobota and Mats Møller Dæhli started on the bench.

In front of a sell-out crowd at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion, and on a freshly laid pitch, the home side made the better start and had an early penalty shout turned down when Dominick Drexler went down in the box under a challenge from Florian Carstens. A correct decision by referee Sören Storks. For their part, the Boys in Brown, who reverted to a back five whenever Cologne had possession, were content to sit back and wait for a chance to launch a counterattack.

The Billy Goats continued to dictate the play and had the first chance of the evening in the 12th minute when a Johannes Geis free-kick took a deflection off Knoll and Brodersen had to get down quickly to keep the ball out. Moments later, Simon headed a Florian Kainz cross a couple of metres past the far post. Kauczinski's side had to wait until the 20th minute for their first opportunity. Jan-Philipp Kalla dispatched a raking diagonal pass to the back post, where Sami Allagui met it first time and was unlucky to see the ball fly narrowly past the post into the side netting.

At the other end the home side went close themselves five minutes later when Cordoba pounced on an undercooked backpass by Christopher Avevor in the inside-right channel and pulled the trigger from 12 metres. Thankfully, Brodersen was alert to the danger and produced a fine reflex save to keep it at 0-0. The stand-in keeper was in the spotlight again soon after, this time defusing a long-range drive from Christian Clemens. There was nothing he could do 120 seconds later, however, when Terodde flicked a Czichos header from a corner onto the crossbar, leaving Cordoba the easy task of knocking the rebound into the net from close range. To add insult to injury, Cordoba was in offside position when Terodde made contact with the ball.

The Boys in Brown refused to let the setback knock them out of their stride and hit back almost immediately. Allagui saw his initial effort from a Knoll corner saved by Timo Horn, but Alex Meier was perfectly placed to tap the rebound home from three metres. Then, with half-time fast approaching, Brodersen had to intervene twice in quick succession, first parrying Drexler's shot and then blocking Terodde's rebound effort, ensuring the two sides went in level pegging at the break.

Alex Meier makes it 1-1 in typical poacher's style.

Alex Meier makes it 1-1 in typical poacher's style.

The two sides emerged unchanged for the second half, and the pattern of the game remained much the same as well. Cologne enjoyed the lion's share of the possession and kept the Boys in Brown extremely busy at the back. And while they were able to fend off the first wave of attacks, Kauczinski's charges were eventually unhinged on 53 minutes. Geis swept the ball out wide right to Clemens, whose low ball in was drilled home by Córdoba from just inside the box. This time there was to be no quick-fire reply by the Boys in Brown. On the contrary, four minutes later it was 3-1. Geis delivered a free-kick into the middle and found the perfect taker in Córdoba, who directed a header into the right-hand corner to complete his hat-trick.

Kauczinski had to react and he did so by introducing attacking midfielder Ryo Miyaichi for Kalla and switching to a back four. The next opportunity fell to the home side, however, Clemens driving into the box from the right and unleashing a powerful drive that Svend Brodersen gathered competently. Five moments later Kauczinski made a second switch, throwing on Mats Møller Dæhli for Buchtmann.

The Boys in Brown continued to work hard but were unable to find the key to unlock the compact home defence a second time. At the other end, Brodersen was forced to intervene again to prevent Córdoba adding a fourth. Kauczinski then rolled the dice a third and final time and in Jan-Marc Schneider sent a fresh striker into the fray for Meier.

Just before the end, the evening got worse for the Boys in Brown. Córdoba and Benno Schmitz combined following a throw-in to set up Terodde, who shrugged off the challenge of Avevor and smashed the ball into the bottom right corner on the turn to make it 4-1.

FC Cologne

Horn - Schmitz, Meré, Czichos - Clemens (Sobiech 74'), Drexler (Nartey 90'), Geis, Kainz, Hector - Terodde (Hauptmann 86'), Córdoba

Head coach: Markus Anfang

 

FC St. Pauli

Brodersen - Zander, Carstens, Hoogma, Avevor, Kalla (Miyaichi 63') - Knoll, Dudziak - Buchtmann (Møller Dæhli 71') - Allagui, Meier (Schneider 79')

Head coach: Markus Kauczinski

 

Goals: 1-0 Córdoba (32'.), 1-1 Meier (38'), 2-1 Córdoba (53'), 3-1 Córdoba (58'), 4-1 Terodde (85')

Yellow cards: Córdoba – Carstens

Referee: Sören Storks

Attendance: 50,000 (sold out)

 

Photos: Witters

 

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