Bröker scored against Sandhausen
No changes in the starting eleven
Holger Stanislawski trusted in exactly the same players as in the match at Brunswick. The first home game of the campaign was a strange one. Due to a sanction because of the supporters' behaviour on the 34th match day of the last Bundesliga season, FC were only allowed to sell 22,500 tickets for the 'RheinEnergieStadion'. Thus the home side had to play without the usually great support of their faithful fans. The match started in the expected way. The guests stood deep in their own half to defend in a compact and stable way awaiting counterattacking situations. Stani's team tried to slice this defence with rotating attacking midfielders (Chihi, Bröker and Royer) to support their central forward Chong Tese.
Chihi tore a muscle
The opening stages were dominated by the good efforts of either side's defence. Of course FC tried to create opportunities but did not manage to trouble Daniel Ischdonat between the Sandhausen posts. As an example Poland international Adam Matuschyk's attempt with 16 minutes from the clock was not a real threat to the former Leverkusen keeper. Then there was bad news for the hosts: Moroccan Adil Chihi and Sandhausen's central attacking midfielder Simon Tüting ran into each other resulting in Chihi being out of play due to a torn muscle fibre in his right thigh. He was replaced by Croatian central midfielder Mato Jajalo (24').
Some minutes later the guests came close to scoring. Right back Julian Schauerte delivered a set piece into the FC box where central defender Marco Pischorn proved aerial power and good vision by serving the ball to Jan Fießer. Sandhausen's holding midfielder headed the ball on target from short range, beat keeper Timo Horn but did not beat the crossbar (27'). Only seconds later Frank Löning was in another promising situation for the guests but his threatening header was not only saved spectacularly by Horn but it was also given offside (28').
Subsequently, FC found back into the match quickly and could control the match again. They could make use of the generally less organised situation and skipper Miso Brecko entered the guests' area from the right and fired a shot on target which was only stopped by defender Daniel Schulz's challenge in the nick of time (30'). The match was way more interesting now, at first Chong Tese attempted an artistic volley (33'). Then it was Thomas Bröker who received the ball from Austria international Daniel Royer but put it wide from only seven yards as he had to opt for his weaker left foot (37'). Two minutes later Horn had to display his full skills to reach a dangerous Riemann ball. The last remarkable scene of the first episode was also the clearest one. Chong Tese reached the ball in the Sandhausen area quicker than the keeper with a risky header to lay it off to Royer who had a free shot from the edge of the box but could not even hit the target.
Ishak replaced Chong Tese
As a consequence of his team's performance head coach Stanislawski wanted to strengthen the attack and brought on a fresh pair of legs as the young Swede Mikael Ishak took over Tese's part in attack. Highly motivated FC started with a sheer run on Ischdonat's goal. Within the first 120 seconds Thomas Bröker had already smacked the ball from 35 yards against the right post and moreover, wide-player Royer had fired the ball over the crossbar from a good position (47').
Bröker from the spot
FC were determined to take the lead now and as a result, they won several early corners. Just when it seemed as if Sandhausen might have survived this constant pressure, Brecko got a beautifully-lofted pass by Jajalo and was fouled from behind by Nicky Adler. Referee Markus Wingenbach did not hesitate and pointed at the spot from where Thomas Bröker did not miss the chance to finish clinically into the bottom left corner (63').
There was no denying the fact that this lead was a great advantage for the home team. Sandhausen had to attack now to avoid an away loss which led to more space for Cologne's moves. Scorer Bröker showed great fighting spirit in the Sandhausen area, turned several opponents to finish from short range. Unfortunately, his shot was denied by Ischdonat (67').
Turbulent remainder – unlucky equaliser
The remainder was rang in by two debatable decisions. First, Cologne's heart of defence Dominic Maroh challenged Tüting in the box which caused protests from the Sandhausen side who thought this scene might have been worth a penalty (74'). Three minutes later Timo Achenbach, who had promoted with Cologne in 2005, brought a set piece in and Schulz headed it into the back of the net. Nevertheless, the referee did not confirm the goal as he saw a debatable offside position (78').
1. FC Cologne focussed on controlling the match in the last minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Stani had made his last change and Kevin Pezzoni strengthened the FC defence (replacing Royer). Apart from two counterattacks (83', 89') in which salient sub Mato Jajalo lacked accuracy FC could not endanger their opponents' defence any more. The last of these attacks initiated a long clearance by Sandhausen goalie Ischdonat which was unluckily flicked on by Pezzoni and Brecko into the feet of Sandhausen substitute Régis Dorn who lofted speculatively on target to even the score with this hook shot leaving no chance to Horn (89'). Although FC attacked wildly at stoppage time there was nothing that finally separated the two teams and 1. FC Cologne earned their first point of the season in this disappointing draw. Next week Cologne will travel to Bavaria to challenge SpVgg Unterhaching in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Saturday, 18 August (3.30 pm).
1. FC Cologne: Horn – Brecko, Maroh, Wimmer, Eichner – M. Lehmann, Matuschyk – Chihi (24' Jajalo), Bröker, Royer (85' Pezzoni) – Chong Tese (46' Ishak)
SV Sandhausen: Ischdonat – Schauerte, Pischorn, D. Schulz, Achenbach – Morena (76' Dorn), Fießer – A. Riemann (84' Falkenberg), Tüting, Adler (77' S. Halfar) – Löning
goals: 1-0 Bröker (63', penalty, Brecko), 1-1 Dorn (89')
yellow card: Tüting (88')
referee: Markus Wingenbach (Diez)
attendance: 22,500 (sold out)