Anthony Ujah's (r.) brace helped 1. FC Köln beat Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Rhine derby (© Imago)
Anthony Ujah's (r.) brace helped 1. FC Köln beat Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Rhine derby (© Imago)

Köln beat Düsseldorf in thrilling Rhine derby

Düsseldorf - 1. FC Köln maintained their four-point lead at the top of Bundesliga 2 after beating Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-2 in a pulsating Rhine derby.

Hosts fight back

Kick-off of at the ESPRIT arena was delayed for 30 minutes due to traffic problems, but when the match finally got underway, it was the Billy Goats who seemed most keen to make up for lost time. Daniel Halfar and Patrick Helmes both spurned promising chances for the visitors, before the latter crossed for Anthony Ujah to head home his sixth goal of the season on the half-hour mark. Helmes then pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired past Fabian Giefer to give Köln a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

Düsseldorf improved after the restart and pulled a goal back ten minutes into the second period. Christian Gartner skipped past Yannick Gerhardt, before crossing for an unmarked Erwin Hoffer to nod home from close range. The hosts were level eight minutes later when Charlison Benschop fired a 20-yard free-kick through the wall and into the corner of Timo Horn’s net. Köln thought they had retaken the lead moments later, but Ujah’s prodded effort was ruled out for offside.

The former 1. FSV Mainz 05 striker wasn’t disappointed for long, however. Halfar laid the ball off to the Nigerian on the edge of the area, who held off the challenge of Stelios Malezas and shot low into the far corner of the net, leaving Giefer grasping at thin air. Horn had to be on his toes to keep out Matin Latka’s late header, but the visitors held on for their eleventh league victory of the season.

Line-ups and statistics