SV Darmstadt 98's dip in form continued on Friday as they were held to a goalless draw by 1. FC Köln to extend their winless run to five Bundesliga outings.
More comfortable on their travels this season, Darmstadt settled uncharacteristically quickly. Jan Rosenthal fired narrowly wide, but the visitors riposted through Marcel Risse's shot that fizzed just past the far post and Matthias Lehmann, whose low drive brought a fine, full-length stop from Christian Mathenia. Darmstadt should have had the lead before the break, but Sandro Wagner wastefully fired over after the influential Rosenthal had knocked the ball down to him.
Köln came out strongly and only some brave defending, notably from Peter Niemeyer, prevented a frenzied goalmouth scramble in the Darmstadt box ending in the opening goal. Had half-time substitue Simon Zoller chosen to simply touch the ball back to Anthony Modeste soon after, the French forward might have ended a six-game goal drought. Darmstadt gained the upper hand in the closing stages, but even the creative energies of Marcel Heller could not provide them with what would have been a welcome home win.
Man of the Match
The fact the game ended goalless was certainly not for any want of trying on Rosenthal's part. The former Hannover 96 man showed both gritty determination and silky creativity, but to no avail.
After starting the season solidly, is the momentum of promotion beginning to wear off for Darmstadt? Better finishing would, however, have given them all three points.
- Darmstadt have picked up just two points from their last five Bundesliga games.
- Köln now have 20 points, one more than they gained in the whole first half of last season.
- Modeste has now gone seven games in all competitions without scoring having found the net nine times in the opening nine competitive matches of the season.
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu (c), Caldirola, Holland - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller (Stroh-Engel 90+1'), Rosenthal (Rausch 70'), Kempe (Sailer 82') - Wagner
Cologne: Horn - Risse, Maroh, Heintz, Hector - Lehmann (c), Vogt - Osako (Jojic 60'), Bittencourt, Gerhardt (Zoller 46') - Modeste (Hosiner 79')