FC Ingolstadt 04 looked to be cruising to victory at home to 1. FC Köln, but Anthony Modeste's late header saw the Billy Goats snatch a share of the spoils at the Audi Sportpark on Tuesday.
Köln made the 500-kilometre journey south-east to Ingolstadt with barely any distance between the sides in the table - Köln began the day in tenth, one point behind their hosts in ninth. The first half saw chances at either end, with Ingolstadt's Dario Lezcano having a close-range header saved by Timo Horn before Modeste - who opened the scoring for the Billy Goats in Matchday 7's 1-1 draw between the sides - blazed wide of Ramazan Özcan's goal. Modeste had another chance to add to his ten Bundesliga goals just past the half-hour, but Marcel Risse's knock-down failed to find the Frenchman who was unmarked in the penalty area. The hosts made Köln pay for that profligacy minutes later, with Lukas Hinterseer tapping home Danny da Costa's low cross from close range for his third goal in as many games.
With his Köln side struggling for inspiration in the final third, Peter Stöger brought on Philipp Hosiner for Leonardo Bittencourt for the final half-hour, and the Austrian's introduction had a positive impact. Ingolstadt's Pascal Groß had peppered the Köln box with dangerous deliveries, but his strikers were unable to capitalise, and Köln took advantage when Risse headed his own parried shot into the path of Modeste, who steered the ball home. Marvin Matip could have snatched a winner late on, but after yet another Groß delivery, the Ingolstadt captain headed over.
Man of the Match
Hinterseer may enjoy more column space after his recent glut of goals, but the presence of Groß behind him was telling. No player on the pitch covered more ground (12.26km) or enjoyed as many touches of the ball (89) as the energetic midfielder.
With survival all-but assured, promoted Ingolstadt could be forgiven for focusing on the European chase, despite letting two points slip here. Only four points away from a UEFA Europa League qualifying spot, the Bavarians' next two games are against teams hovering above the relegation zone, and their ability to see out wins will be helped by the imminent return of key defender Tobias Levels.
- Köln have not kept a clean sheet in ten outings, their longest-ever such streak under Stöger.
- Köln have not won any of their last six away games.
- Ingolstadt now boast 31 points after 24 games; no club has ever been relegated with such a record since three points were awarded for a win.
- Hinterseer's goal was the first time since the turn of the year that Ralph Hasenhüttl's side have scored from open play. Each of their previous six goals had come from set-pieces.
Ingolstadt: Özcan - da Costa (Suttner 72'), Matip (c), Hübner, Bauer - Roger - Groß, Cohen (Christiansen 84') - Hinterseer, Lezcano (Lex 78'), Leckie
Köln: Horn - Sörensen, Maroh, Mavraj, Heintz (Mladenovic 69') - Lehmann (c), Vogt - Risse, Gerhardt, Bittencourt (Hosiner 58') – Modeste (Olkowski 90+1')