FC Augsburg's efforts to pull further away from the relegation zone were stifled by ten-man 1. FC Köln on Friday night as the teams played out a 0-0 draw.
FC Augsburg 0-0 1. FC Köln
Red card: Lehmann (57')
Visitors Köln had secured their Bundesliga status for another year with victory over SV Darmstadt 98 last week, so the onus was on Augsburg to seize the initiative here as they looked to inch their way closer to safety too. However, neither side was willing to risk much in a timid first half characterised by hefty midfield tussles and tactical discipline.
The advantage swung Augsburg's way in the second period when Köln captain Matthias Lehmann was sent off for a second bookable offence, contributing to the hosts increasing the pressure in search of a winner as the match wore on. Set-pieces were their best hope of breaking down a Köln side that shut up shop, but Raul Bobadilla's curling effort from a free-kick was as close as they came in an encounter that ultimately ended goalless.
Man of the match
Germany international Jonas Hector is normally a left-back but he was superb in defensive midfield for the Billy Goats at the WWK Arena. The 25-year-old won 54 per cent of his tackles, completed 92 per cent of his passes, covered more ground than anyone else (11.73 kilometres) and compensated well for fellow holding midfielder Lehmann after his sending off.
While Augsburg will be disappointed not to have won here, they still have their fate in their own hands going into the final two matchdays of the campaign. One more victory would take them to 40 points and guarantee them a Bundesliga place next term.
- Tobias Werner started a league game for Augsburg for the first time since Matchday 9.Augsburg had 12 shots on goal to Köln's eight.Daniel Baier saw more of the ball (123 touches) than any other player on the pitch.
Augsburg: Hitz - Feulner, Gouweleeuw, Klavan, Max - Baier (c) - Koo, Kohr, Altintop (Ji 83'), Werner (Bobadilla 65') - Finnbogason
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Köln: Horn - Sörensen, Maroh, Heintz, Mladenovic – Lehmann (c), Hector - Risse, Osako (Jojic 46'), Gerhardt - Modeste
Coach: Peter Stöger