Max Kruse missed a penalty for the first time in his Bundesliga career, but scored the rebound to extend Union Berlin's unbeaten run to seven matches after victory over winless Cologne.
The home side were sporting their seasonal Karneval kit on Sunday for the visit of Union as they went in search of a spark to earn them a first win in 17 games. It was the visitors, though, who had the first chance on goal through Marcus Ingvartsen, who couldn't find the target after latching onto Robin Knoche's long ball. Chances were at a premium, but Union made the most of their second before the half-hour mark as Ingvarten's flick-on found Taiwo Awoniyi in front of goal to slot past Timo Horn. Cologne got themselves level just nine minutes later, though. Ondrej Duda's free-kick found Ellyes Skhiri, who headed home from close range.
The second half began as a slow burner, with neither side able to unlock the other's defence. Grischa Prömel dragged a shot wide of the mark after the hour with the first genuine effort on goal. Union looked the most likely to go in front again, and did so with less than 20 minutes to play. Kruse's cross was brought down by Ingvarsten, and he cut inside Salih Özcan with the Cologne midfielder bringing him down. Kruse stepped up and missed a spot-kick for the first time in his Bundesliga career, with Horn saving superbly, but followed up with the rebound to restore Union's lead. The home side responded well as Elvis Rexhbecaj forced a save from Andreas Luthe before Rafael Czichos headed inches wide of goal. Union were able to hold on, though, and extend their current record unbeaten run to seven matches.
- Cologne have gone without a win in the Bundesliga for 18 games stretching back to March - a negative club record.
- Union occupy fifth place for the second weekend in a row. They are competing in their second Bundesliga season.
- Kruse missed the chance to create Bundesliga history with what would have been a 17th successive penalty goal.
- Kruse has scored four and assisted five since joining Union.
- Awoniyi scored his first goal for Union in the Bundesliga. He had scored one last season for Mainz, which also came against Cologne.
- Cologne target man Sebastian Andersson scored 12 goals in 33 Bundesliga games for Union last term. Opposite number Anthony Ujah previously played for Cologne, scoring 10 times in 32 games.
Watch: Kruse: "I didn't want the record anyway!"
Cologne: T. Horn (c) - Wolf (Ehizibue 79'), Mere, Czichos, Katterbach (Thielmann 79') - Skhiri - Drexler (Limnios 65'), Duda (Rexhbecaj 65'), Özcan (Arokodare 83'), Jakobs - Andersson
Unused subs: Zieler, J. Horn, Sörensen, Bornauw
Out: Hector (neck), Kainz (knee), Modeste (back), Schmitz (ankle)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Union: Luthe - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Knoche, Lenz – Griesbeck (Prömel 30'), Andrich (Ryerson 84') - Becker (Gießelmann 85'), Kruse, Ingvartsen (Gogia 73') - Awoniyi (Teuchert 73')
Unused subs: Karius, Maciejewski, Bruns
Out: Bülter (not included), Endo (thigh), Gentner (muscular), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Schlotterbeck (thigh), Ujah (knee)
Coach: Urs Fischer