Ondrej Duda scored twice - including a Goal of the Season contender - to help Cologne to another crucial win in their bid to avoid relegation, although they were forced to survive a second-half Augsburg fightback in a nervy 3-2 triumph.
Duda had found the net three times in his previous five games coming into this fixture and continued his fine form right away as Cologne picked up where they left off in their surprise 2-1 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday. There were only eight minutes on the clock when the ball came to the 26-year-old on the edge of the Augsburg area, and he struck a stunning left-footed volley high into the net past Rafal Gikiewicz. It set the tone for the rest of the half and the Billy Goats were soon two goals to the good when Florian Kainz arrived on the penalty spot to stroke in from 12 yards following Marius Wolf's clever dummy from Benno Schmistz's cross. Sebastian Andersson was denied by Gikiewicz on the half-hour mark as the visitors sought to press home their advantage, but Cologne still managed to go into the break 3-0 up with almost a carbon copy of Kainz's goal, only this time Wolf provided the cross and Duda applied the finish.
The Augsburg players must have been given a stern talking to by head coach Heiko Herrlich during half-time, as they reemerged for the second period with far greater purpose. Ruben Vargas tested Timo Horn with a stinging shot from 16 yards, but it was a warning sign Cologne failed to heed. Shortly afterwards, the hosts pulled a goal back as Robert Gumny prodded in at the back post following a corner, and they further reduced the deficit eight minutes later through Vargas' close-range finish from a swift counter-attack. Gumny almost got his name on the scoresheet again as the match opened up in the closing stages, but although his looping header beat Horn, it was cleared off the line by Ellyes Skhiri. Andre Hahn had the next chance as Augsburg poured everything forward in search of an equaliser, but his header bobbled just wide of the post. Duda blazed over at the other end following a mazy run in a rare Cologne attack, but it was ultimately of little consequence as the visitors held on to win for the second time in three games under new coach Friedhelm Funkel, further bolstering their chances of avoiding the drop this season.
- Duda netted his sixth and seventh goals of the season, making him Cologne's top scorer. Five of those seven have come in his last six Bundesliga outings.
- The Slovakia international scored his first Bundesliga brace for Cologne, and first in Germany's top flight since January 2019, when he struck twice for Hertha Berlin in a 3-1 win over Nuremberg.
- Kainz registered his first goal of the season in just his fifth appearance of an injury hit campaign.
- Augsburg conceded three first-half goals at home for just the second time in their history. The last occasion was on 26 September 2012 in a 3-1 reverse against Bayer Leverkusen.
- Cologne have now won back-to-back league games for just the second time this season, having previously beaten Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchdays 19 and 20.
- Gumny's goal was his first in the Bundesliga, coming in his 21st top-flight outing.
Watch: Duda: "We don't have time to celebrate"
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Framberger (Gumny 42'), Oxford, Gouweleeuw (c), Iago - Strobl (Moravek 42'), Gruezo - Caligiuri (Richter 87'), Hahn, Vargas - Finnbogason (Jensen 46')
Unused subs: Koubek, Pedersen, Suchy, Benes, Niederlechner
Out: Bazee (ill), Gregoritsch (cold), Khedira (knock), Pedersen (knock), Uduokhai (suspended)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Cologne: T. Horn - Schmitz, Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn (Katterbach 65') - Skhiri, Hector (c) - Wolf, Duda, Kainz (Drexler 69') - Andersson (Rexhbecaj 79')
Unused subs: Zieler, Mere, Höger, Meyer, Özcan, Dennis
Out: Ehizibue (suspended), Jakobs (ankle), Thielmann (muscular)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel