Nicklas Bendtner was in the right place at the right time to rescue Wolfsburg a point against Köln - © © imago / Eibner
Nicklas Bendtner was in the right place at the right time to rescue Wolfsburg a point against Köln - © © imago / Eibner

Wolfsburg snatch late leveller to thwart Köln

Cologne - 1. FC Köln stretched their unbeaten home run to 11 games, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against title contenders VfL Wolfsburg, as Nicklas Bendtner’s late strike cancelled out Simon Zoller’s opener.

Man of the match

Köln executed the perfect game plan in the first period as their discipline and determination prevented Wolfsburg, dominant in possession, from having a shot on goal until the 21st minute. At the other end Simon Zoller capitalised on a mix-up in the Wolves’ backline to head home the hosts’ first effort of the encounter with half an hour played, handing them a narrow lead at the break.   

Still with the bit between their teeth, Köln kept themselves on the front foot in the second half as Zoller and Anthony Modeste drew strong saves out of Koen Casteels. The encounter opened up in the final 30 minutes as Wolfsburg became increasingly desperate and, after Max Kruse and Bas Dost failed to get the better of Timo Horn, Bendtner was on hand to tap home a late equaliser on the rebound ensuring the spoils were shared.

Simon Zoller may have gotten his name on the scoresheet, but it was strike partner Anthony Modeste whose endeavours made all the difference as he proved a constant thorn in the side of Wolfsburg’s backline. The French forward’s flick on provided the assist for Zoller, adding to his two goals from last weekend and, though he didn’t end up on the winning side, his outstanding performance did not go unnoticed by the home fans.

Talking point

It was ten years ago that 1. FC Köln last won both of their opening games of a Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 campaign and they were deserving of recreating that feat against a timid Wolfsburg side. The Wolves were unconvincing in their win over Frankfurt and can count themselves very lucky to have taken a point in Cologne. Not the form expected of the side touted as FC Bayern München’s most serious title challengers.

Stats of the match

    1. FC Köln took the lead with their very first shot on goal in the game.Simon Zoller has scored once in his last three competitive fixtures.Nicklas Bendtner has scored eight goals in all competitions for VfL Wolfsburg. All have been netted when the Dane has come off the bench.

Line-ups and statistics