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1. FC Köln wasted a great opportunity against Freiburg

1. FC Köln wasted a great opportunity against Freiburg

As of: May 6, 2024 at 12:00 AM

Despite a committed performance, 1. FC Cologne also fell short against SC Freiburg due to weakness in the end, and after a 0-0 draw on matchday 32, they have little hope of staying in the Bundesliga. The next match will be the final.

Cologne remained in second-to-last place in the standings with 24 points. With 16th-placed Mainz only playing 1-1 at Heidenheim on Sunday evening, FC theoretically not only have a chance of relegation, but could also reach 15th place – assuming two wins of their own. Bochum's 4-3 win in Berlin also helped Cologne, as Timo Schulz's side can move three points clear of this season's Champions League participants with victory over Union next week.

Freiburg (41 points) maintains seventh place and is still looking to qualify for a European competition. If Bayer Leverkusen also wins the cup after winning the tournament, seventh place at the end of the season will mean participation in the Europa League.

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We are all very disappointed, the team left their hearts on the field“, said FC coach Timo Schulz after the final whistle in the Sportschau interview. Given the only theoretical possibilities of rescue, Schulz retreated with slogans of perseverance.”It's not over yet, but of course we have to achieve the results ourselves“.

Nisreen Al-Nabulsi, sports program, May 4, 2024 at 9:15 pm

Cologne is strong but ultimately weak

The Cologne team, once again without captain Florian Kainz and also without a trained striker in the starting lineup, pressed for an escape, especially in the second half, but failed, as is often the case, due to weakness in the end.

The first very good opportunity came in the third minute, but Linton Maina shot into the right corner from a promising position inside the penalty area. After that, the hosts remained the team that dominated the match without creating any big chances. Eric Martel (18th) dangerously blocked a long-range shot with his backheel, but SC goalkeeper Noah Atopoulou was there. On the other side, Vincenzo Grifo (20) headed a ball wide of the goal.

About half an hour later, heavy rain fell and the match ended. The fans got louder, but then they had to hold their breath. Defensive stabilizer Jeff Chabot had to be treated on his thigh shortly before half-time and was eventually substituted in the 57th minute.

Armin Lehmann, Sportschau, May 4, 2024, 8:24 pm

Cologne's Aledo fails against Freiburg's Autopoulo

A notable setback also for his team, which came out of the locker room with great pressure, then lost the thread and was lucky that Lukas Höller (67) shot the ball wide of the empty goal. But Cologne continued to fight and storm against the population of Freiburg, which was very passive. Aledo (71') wasted a great opportunity to take the lead and failed to fire a shot from close range past Freiburg's goalkeeper Atopoulou.

Substitute Kainz had the fans going again in the final stage – but the goal did not come. In the end, Cologne missed their last chance to avoid relegation.

Team Captain Kainz: “Very safe”

The bottom line is that we were very safeCaptain Kainz said into the ARD microphone after the final whistle. “The game went as usual this season,” said Kainz.There was a willingness to work hard, we were ready from the beginning and did everything we could. But in the end we were pretty harmless offensively“.

FC managing director Christian Keller is responsible for putting together a team that was clearly unable to compete, and whose departure was called for on a banner at the stadium. In an interview with Sportsco, Keller avoided making any specific statements about the further planning and his role, but spoke about the good internal relationship at the club and in the executive committee.

Cologne vs. Union Berlin, Freiburg vs. Heidenheim

While Cologne will play its first final against Union next Saturday (May 11, 2024, 3:30 p.m.), Freiburg will play at home against 1. FC Heidenheim.

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