It was a long time in coming, but when Anthony Modeste scored his first Bundesliga brace since 5 May 2017, it was more than worth the wait for the near 50,000 fans inside the RheinEnergieSTADION, full for the first time in 600 days.
With his fourth headed goal of the season – more than any other player in the Bundesliga this term – the French forward raised the roof in Cologne, earning the Billy Goats a point in a Rhine derby which, at half-time, had seemed beyond their reach.
Patrik Schick and Karim Bellarabi had given Bayer Leverkusen a two-goal lead on enemy territory, but the second half belonged to Modeste, who single-handedly secured Cologne a point and reached the landmark of 50 goals for the club – just five shy of Lukas Podolski in ninth place in the club’s all-time top-scorer classification.
Watch: Highlights of Cologne's draw with Leverkusen
"Everything is possible, in football also," Modeste told bundesliga.com of his unrelenting belief, despite a two-goal half-time deficit. "We knew that Leverkusen played this week and in the second half it was a bit slower from them.
"This is the reason we pushed in the second half and we made it good."
Modeste made Cologne's recovery sound far simpler than it was, but he is Modeste not only in name.
"I've been analysing my performances constantly," he told DAZN. "When things are not going well for a few years, then you've got to ask questions. I've put a lot of effort in and when you work so much, you get your reward."
The 33-year-old has found an ally in rediscovering his form in new Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart.
Watch: Modeste: "Everything's possible in football"
"He says things to your face and doesn't talk behind your back," the Frenchman said. "I feel that the coach believes in me and that's really, really good."
That belief has rubbed off on Modeste, who paid back that faith with a Man of the Matchday performance on Matchday 9, not that Baumgart was in any way surprised.
"He's been able to get a full pre-season under his belt for the first time in a long time and he never misses training," Baumgart said. "That's why he's in such good shape and he's earned this. We know that Tony's got the quality when we put him into a scoring position."
They did that twice against Leverkusen, and he duly obliged. "This is our hone and you can't just come and beat us here that easily," concluded Modeste, finding the perfect last words after a game in which he had already had the final say.