Cologne missed the chance to close within three points of the relegation play-off place as Mainz' Pablo De Blasis cancelled out Jonas Hector's early opener in a frenzied encounter at the RheinEnergieStadion.
Cologne 1-1 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Hector (7’), 1-1 De Blasis (50’)
Red card: Donati (90'+2)
Cologne made a slightly disjointed start in this relegation six-pointer, and Levin Öztunali could have given Mainz a fifth-minute lead if he had shown a little more composure when one-on-one with Timo Horn. Instead it was captain Hector who settled the home side’s nerves just two minutes later, as he headed in Leonardo Bittencourt’s cross for his first goal of the season. Cologne’s next chance fell to Yuya Osaka - who like Hector was on target in this fixture last May - but the Japan forward’s effort was too tame to trouble Rene Adler. The visitors continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but both sides struggled to carve out any more clear-cut chances as the Billy Goats went in 1-0 up at the break.
Cologne had an excellent chance to double their lead at the start of the second half, as Christian Clemens burst into the area and squared for Simon Terrode, who was brilliantly denied by Adler. The miss proved costly as Mainz drew level two minutes later, with De Blasis - the shortest man on the pitch - showing superb movement to head in Giulio Donati’s cross. Mainz’s Robin Quaison almost made an instant impact off the bench, but his effort took a deflection off Dominique Heintz and bounced back off the post. Cologne veteran Claudio Pizarro also went close within moments of replacing Osako, before seeing his close-range header tipped over by Adler. Horn saved from Öztunali and Latza struck the crossbar in a frantic finish which saw Donati sent off, but Mainz held on for a draw which keeps them six points clear of Cologne in the table.
- Freiburg leading scorer Petersen was sent off for the first time in his career on Matchday 28.
- Christian Streich’s side are without a win in their last five, and have only won twice in 2018.
- Only Wolfsburg have drawn more matches this season (14) than Freiburg (12).
- Wolfsburg have picked up as many points away this season as the have at home (13).
- Origi is the Wolves’ second highest scorer in 2017/18 with five goals, though has failed to score in his last seven Bundesliga matches.
- Wolfsburg have won their last four games in a row in Freiburg.
Cologne: T. Horn – Klünter (Cordoba 78’), Mere, Heintz, Hector (c) – Clemens, Koziello (Özcan 74’), Höger, Bittencourt – Osako (Pizarro 69’), Terodde
Unused subs: Kessler, Sorensen, Zoller, Lehmann
Absentees: Guirassy (ankle), Maroh (stomach bug), Risse (muscle)
Coach: Stefan Ruthenbeck
Mainz: Adler – Donati, Balogun, Hack, Brosinski (c) – Serdar, Gbamin, Latza – Öztunali, De Blasis – Berggreen (Quaison 69’)
Unused subs: Müller, De Jong, Maxim, Ujah, Onisiwo, Holtmann
Absentees: Bungert (thigh)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Watch: Hector: "Try and win every game"