1. FC Köln produced a memorable second-half comeback to beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 3-2 at the Coface Arena in Matchday 30’s final encounter.
1. FSV Mainz 05 2-3 1. FC Köln
Despite Köln coach Peter Stöger opting for the security of a five-man backline, it took only eight minutes for high-flying Mainz to break the deadlock. The visitors failed to clear Christian Clemens’ corner, and Jhon Cordoba was on hand to fire the game’s first shot into the roof of the net. An end-to-end encounter ensued, with Anthony Modeste’s powerful effort well saved by Loris Karius in the 19th minute. At the other end, Mainz continued to recycle possession calmly, and it took a fine save from Timo Horn to deny Danny Latza a first Bundesliga goal of the season.
It was instead Leon Balogun who scored his first-ever Bundesliga goal four minutes after the break, the Nigerian international rising highest to meet Daniel Brosinski’s cross and power a header past Horn to double Mainz’s lead. A superb long-range strike from Marcel Risse cut the deficit soon after, and, against the run of play, Köln were level 16 minutes from time when Milos Jojic poked past Karius from close-range. Jojic’s finish set the stage for an enthralling finale, and Köln stole the points seven minutes from time when Modeste’s powerful first-time volley left Karius with no chance.
Man of the match
While not at his best, Köln’s French striker Modeste was there when it mattered most for his side. His late winner ended a personal run of 549 minutes without a goal, and secured the Billy Goats three crucial points.
At 2-0 down after 49 minutes, Köln were staring a relegation battle in the face. A stirring comeback from Stöger’s side, however, should now be enough to secure survival, particularly with SV Darmstadt 98, FC Augsburg and SV Werder Bremen to come in the next three games.
- Balogun’s goal was his first in 43 Bundesliga appearances.Mainz’s opening goal after eight minutes was their earliest in 2016.Jojic’s goal was his first this season.
Mainz: Karius – Brosinski, Balogun, Bell, Donati (Onisiwo, 85’) – Baumgartlinger, Latza (Frei, 51’) – Jairo, Malli, Clemens (De Blasis, 80’)– Cordoba
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Köln: Horn – Risse, Heintz (Osako, 60’), Mavraj, Maroh, Hector – Gerhardt (Vogt, 86’), Lehmann – Mladenovic, Zoller (Jojic, 60’), Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger