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September 24, 2010
• RheinEnergieStadion, Köln
Referee: K. Kircher
• Attendance: 45000
L. Podolski 17'
D. Ba 54'
90' + 2'
AND IT IS OVER! The referee puts an end to an exciting affair, which neither side deserved to lose. In the first half, it was all Koeln and the home team will regret being too negative in the second period as they paid the price for defending too deep. Hoffenheim managed to mount a comeback after the break with Demba Ba cancelling Lukas Podolski's opener in the 54th minute. Stay with Goal.com for the post-match material and do not forget to join us in the weekend for our coverage of the most interesting games in the world of football! Bye from me, Vasil Kotsev!
90' + 2'
DEMBA BA! WHAT A SHOT! The Senegalese received the ball on the left, near the touchline, 35 yards from goal, took a few steps, before trying to catch Mondragon by surprise with a really long, but precise shot. Mondragon at first caught the ball, but then spilt it, before claiming it again. Breathtaking ending to this game.
MATUSCHYK! Lanig received the ball on the left, just outside the box, and whipped in a good cross for the overlapping Matuschyk near the penalty spot, but the youngster could not stretch enough to strike the ball well and the chance went begging.
Sigurdsson is wins a foul after a bad foul from Petit. It looks like the Icelander will take it and he hits the wall. Hoffe may probably regret not letting Salihovic take this free-kick, 30 yards in front of goal, a little on the left.
Vorsah is brought down by Freis and Matuschyk with a tackle that seems like taken off from a cartoon with the two player going hard on him from opposite directions in the centre-circle.
Yellow CardSebastian Freis
Some possession statistics. After being behind on possession in the first half Hoffe have regained their grip on the ball and have had the ball 56 % to Koel's 44 %.
Freis substitues Clemens as Koeln are gunning for a second goal. Jajalo also leaves the pitch for Taner Yalcin. Standing ovation from the home faithful as the youngster, on-loan from Siena, leaves the pitch.
LANIG! WHAT A CHANCE! Ehret went on a fine run on the left and, unexpectedly, managed to thread a ball between three Hoffe players for the on-rushing, completely unmarked Lanig in the penalty box, the midfielder controlled the ball and unleashed a fearsome some, but it was straight at Starke, who blocked well at the expense of a corner kick on the right. Nothing came off from that set-piece.
JAJALO! The midfielder received the ball in the centre circle, took a few steps and let it fly, but his rather meek effort went wide of the right post. Koeln seem to be still unable to pick themselves up from Demba Ba's equaliser.
PETIT! OUTSTANDING FREE-KICK! The ex-Portugues international took a free-kick, around 35 yards in front of goal, and forced Starke into a fine save as the ball was sailing to the left corner. Outstanding strike.
DEMBA BA! GREAT CHANCE FOR THE VISITORS! Mlapa was released on the left by Sigurdson, the ex-1860 Munich man raced to the edge penalty area and fed the completely unmarked Demba Ba on the right side of the box, but the Senegalese's first time shot is blocked by Mohamad, who made a vital interception. The resulting corner on the right, however, amounted to nothing.
Gustavo dispossess Clemens with an outstanding tackle, Eichner, however, loses the ball to Matuschyk on the right, near the byline, his cross is blocked by Vorsah, who clears the danger.
WHAT A MISS! MOHAMAD MISSES A SITTER! Prince 'Poldi' delivered an outstanding cross in the goal area, where the overlapping defender could not convert from close range! Best chance for Koeln so far in the second half.
Podolski is brought down on the right. 30 yards from goal. Another opportinuty for Koeln ...
JAJALO! The midfielder took the corner on the left and tried an in-swinging cross, which went close to the goal line, but was too far for Geromel to reach with his diving header on the right of the goal area.
Yellow CardChristian Clemens
LANIG! The midfielder won the ball on the right, just inside Hoffe's area, and raced to the box from where he crossed to the left of the penalty area. Beck, under no pressure whatsoever cleared the ball into a corner kick.
Koeln look lost now after being so confident after their goal. They will probably regret switching back to their defensive trademark style in the first half after doing so well before the break.
Podolski is playing with fire now as he commits a bad foul on the right of his penalty box and latter argues with the referee. He seems too fired up for this game, indeed.
IBISEVIC! It was again Eichner and Demba Ba combining greatly on the left with the Senegalese finding Ibisevic in the goal area with a defence-splitting pass between Brecko and Geromel, Ibisevic took a few steps and pulled the trigger, but his shot was blocked by Mondragon. Impressive save by the goalkeeper.
GOAL! DEMBA BA SCORES! What a goal! Eichner received the ball on the left, drew Matuschyk and managed to thread a delightful through-ball for Demba Ba, who controlled well on the left side of the penalty box, side-stepped past Geromel and finished cooly in the right corner. Mondragon certainly thought the ball was going out and did no dive for it.
Luis Gustavo will have to do a lot of defensive work now that Simunic was replaced. The young Brazilian has been an outstanding performer so far in his matches for Hoffe.
JAJALO! Brecko bombed down the right and crossed for Jajalo on the left-hand side of the box, but the young Croat could not control well with his chest and it went out for a goal kick. He is certainly better with the ball at his feet.
SALIHOVIC! He put some venom in this shot! The Bosnia and Herzegovina international received the ball around 35 yards in front of goal and let it fly, Mondragon managed to block the ball, but spilt it, luckily for Koeln, Mohamad was there to clear the danger.
We will see Sigurdsson and Mlapa in action as Hoffenheim roll the dice in an effort to turn the game around. This means that the visitors will play with three defenders, quite risky, indeed.
The second half begins ...
Peniel Kokou Mlapa
45' + 1'
The referee signals for the end of the first half. Koeln took the lead in the 17th minute through a fine finish from 'Prince Poldi' after an impressive run by Jajalo, who was certainly the best player on the pitch for the first period. Hoffenheim, on the other hand, are unable to pick themselves and create anything of note, clearly intimidated by the fiery atmosphere at the RheinEnergieStadion. Can the Sinsheim outfit mount a comback or will 'Poldi' and co. score more? Join us after the break to find out.
Salihovic hits the wall. A pretty uncharacteristic shot from the Bosnia and Herzegovina international, who is dubbed by some as the best free-kick taker in the Bundesliga.
Demba Ba is brought down by Lanig on the left, just outside the penalty box. A good time for Salihovic to show us what he can do.
It is pretty surprising to me thah Hoffenheim are yet to create a single opportunity on goal. Has the harsh midweek defeat taken its toll on a team that was oozing confidence mere days ago?
Podolski wins another free-kick on the left, near the touchline. His delivery, however, is poor and the ball is recovered by Hoffe's Luis Gustavo.
We mark Mondragon's first touch of the game. In Koeln's last game against Mainz, he was the player with the most touches of the ball from his team.
Yellow CardMartin Lanig
PODOLSKI! The striker tried to score form a free-kick just outside the centre-circle and Starke was forced to pull of yet another save as the ball was heading for the left corner.
Yellow CardJosip Simunic
Simunic is booked for a nasty tackle on Podolski from behind on the right wing as the ex-Bayern Munich man tried to set his team on the break. The Croatian has been uncharacteristically shaky today.
Jajalo has put in a sparkling performance so far as everything interesting in the game so far came from him. Can he be another Bundesliga jewel?
I have to admit I have to take my words back as Koeln are pretty much dominating the game now with their rather Dutch approach - high offensive trap and possession retaining around the pitch.
JAJALO AGAIN! The midfielder bombed down the left and crossed from inside the penalty box for Lanig, but the ball deflected Simunic and caught Starke by surprise as it rebounded of his fingers, then off the left post and then to Eichner, who cleared the danger.
JAJALO! The midfielder tried to score directly from a corner on the left, but was denied by Starke. It would have been a great goal, had it come in.
One should not be surprised that Koeln's goal came from a set-piece. A defensive team like the hosts is bound to rely on such situations. If they had been expected to park the bus before, now it is pretty safe bet.
PODOLSKI AGAIN! Jajalo crossed a ball from the left wing in the penalty box and Starke looked like having an easy job claiming this cross, but spilt it, Podolski tried to pounce on the ball, but was well blocked by the goalkeeper and by Vorsah.
GOAL! Podolski scores! Jajalo received the ball after a throw-in and first managed to power through Simunic, who actually lost the challenge quite easily, then dribbled past Beck before finally laying a through-ball for Podolski, who burst into the penalty box and shot for the right corner, leaving Starke with no chance.
FC Cologne's defensive system is in full swing now as Hoffenheim should start to prepare for an ultimately unpleasant tough wall of bodies in front of Mondragon.
Hoffenheim: Starke; Vorsah, Simunic, Eichner, Beck; Luis Gustavo, Weis, Salihovic; Demba Ba, Rudy, Ibisevic.
Line-ups: FC Cologne: Mondragon; Mohamad, Geromel, Ehret, Brecko; Lanig, Matuschyk, Petit, Jajalo, Clemens; Podolski.
PODOLSKI! The German international took a free-kick on the right, just outside the penalty box and tried to cross for Jajalo, but Starke jumped the highest and managed to claim the ball.
A pretty fiery start for FC Cologne, who are renowned for their defensive gameplay. It will be interesting to see they will keep on attacking ..
EHRET! Matuschyk picked out Ehret with a delightful through ball on the left side of the box, Ehret dribbled past Beck and cut to the byline, but was well blocked by Starke and the ball went out for a goal kick.
LANIG! The ex-Stuttgart man was superbly released by Podolski on the right side of the penalty area, before unleashing a powerful shot that was superbly blocked by Tom Starke. Nothing came off the resulting corner.
And they are off!
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of tonight's game between FC Cologne and TSG Hoffenheim. The Sinsheim outfit sit third in the table and have certainly impressed in the early days of this Bundesliga season. The suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich and will look to pick themselves up against FC Cologne. The hosts, for their part, paid the price for their negativity against Mainz and deservedly lost, will we see a win for them today? Stay tuned to find out.
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