Dejan Ljubicic earns Cologne a point at home to Mainz
Dejan Ljubicic brought an end to Cologne's scoring drought at home, but it was only enough for a point against Mainz at the RheinEnergieSTADION.
Cologne 1-1 Mainz
0-1 Ajorque 17' (assist: Widmer), 1-1 Ljubicic 51' (assist: Hector)
Having brought an end to a six-game winless run by beating Augsburg last weekend, Cologne were eager to kick on at home to Mainz, but instead they soon found themselves in the familiar territory of having to chase the game. Mainz’s winter recruit Ludovic Ajorque plundered his fifth goal in seven games, stretching to turn in Silvan Widmer’s cross from the right. Kingsley Schindler hammered an effort just wide of the post and Linton Maina wasted an even better chance to level before the break, but he made a poor connection with the ball and shot straight at a relieved Robin Zentner, whose side were able to hold onto their advantage heading into the interval.
Their resistance lasted only five minutes following the restart, though, when Ljubicic exchanged passes with Jonas Hector before slotting in Cologne’s first goal at home in four games. The hosts did not look happy settling just for one point, though, and proceeded to have eight unanswered shots on the Mainz goal, the best being squandered by Maina with only Zentner to beat. When Mainz’s next chance did arrive with five minutes to go, Leandro Barreiro wasted it with a free-header in front of Marvin Schwäbe as both sides had to settle for a point each.
- Only Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani (seven) has more goals in 2023 than Ajorque.
- Each time Ljubicic had scored in the Bundesliga previously (five times), Cologne had gone on to win.
- Four straight home games without a victory is a first under Steffen Baumgart.
- Mainz’s nine-game unbeaten streak is currently the longest in the division (W5, D4).
- Their run of 14 games in which they’ve scored has beaten a club record from 2012 under Thomas Tuchel.
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Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Hector (c) - Martel - Schindler (Thielmann 64'), Ljubicic, Kainz (Huseinbasic 84'), Maina (Adamyan 85') – Selke (Tigges 74')
Unused subs: Horn, Pedersen, Kilian, Limnios, Olesen
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (cruciate ligament), Skhiri (suspended), Uth (pelvis)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Mainz: Zentner - Fernandes, Bell, Hanche-Olsen - Widmer (c) (da Costa 90'), Barreiro, Kohr, Caci (Martin 74') - Onisiwo (Ingvartsen 75'), Stach (Lee 63')– Ajorque
Unused subs: Dahmen, Hack, Barkok, Burgzorg, Weiper
Out: Burkardt (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson
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