Daniel Pinder, RheinEnergieStadion – Despite a spirited second-half performance, FC Köln won’t be playing European football when we return from the winter break. Goals from Gaeten Laborde and Bilal Brahimi within three minutes of each other put the hosts 2-0 up heading into the break and against the run of play. But whatever Steffen Baumgart said during half-time, it worked.
Denis Huseinbašić pulled a goal back in the 48th minute before Ondrej Duda levelled the game. Two minutes later, Sargis Adamyan thought he had put Köln in the lead but it was ruled out for offside. Unfortunately for the Bundesliga club, a 2-2 draw leaves them in third and out of the Europa Conference League.
FC Köln – 2 (Huseinbašić, Duda) vs OGC Nice – 2 (Laborde, Brahimi)
Marvin Schwäbe, 6
Kingsley Schindler, 5
Nikola Soldo, 5
Timo Hübers, 6
Kristian Pedersen, 6
Ellyes Skhiri, 7 – A welcomed addition back into central-midfield for Steffen Baumgart’s side. They’ve missed the Tunisian’s drive from midfield. Always looked to progress the ball.
Denis Huseinbašić, 8 – Scored the goal that sparked a near comeback. One of Köln’s best players on the night. His goal just after the break that gave fans some hope of European football after the winter break. Talented & skillful, Huseinbašić is an extremely talented player, even more exciting given the nominal fee that Köln paid.
Sargis Adamyan, 7 – It was almost a dream start for Köln, Adamyan tested Kasper Schmeichel on two occasions inside the opening 5 minutes. Also had the ball in the back of the net at 2-2 but was ruled out for offside.
Ondrej Duda, 7
Florian Kainz, 6
Steffen Tigges, 7
Others: Benno Schmitz (5), Linton Maina (6), Eric Martel (-), Jan Thielmann (-)
Schmeichel (6), Atal (6), Todibo (5), Dante (6), Bard (5), Boudaoui (5), Lemina (6), Thuram (5), Brahimi (7), Pepe (4), Laborde (4)
GGFN | Daniel Pinder