After the fallout following the first defeat of the season to SC Paderborn 07 had finally settled, 1. FC Köln responded with a workmanlike 0:2 win against SV Sandhausen. Louis Schaub and Simon Terodde secured all three points, where Markus Anfang got his wish of a cleansheet. Following an impressive draw away to SV Darmstadt 98, where they were mere minutes away from a first win, Kenan Kocak made the decision to go for a slightly more attacking line-up at the Hardtwaldstadion. 3-5-2 was scrapped in favour of 4-2-3-1, with the only change being Rurik Gislason replacing Markus Karl.
As for FC, Anfang was obviously keen to get back to winning ways at the first attempt after defeat to Paderborn. More changes came in defence as Lasse Sobiech and Marcel Risse replaced Jorge Meré and Matthias Bader. Jannes Horn also had to drop into left-back after Jonas Hector’s red card, which allowed Sehrou Guirassy another chance to impress on the left-wing.
Super Schaub scores a screamer
In truth, the game started slowly. Both sides seemed tentative and were coming unstuck when it got to the final third. That said, Sandhausen were doing a fine job in defence and were managing to make headway whenever the chances arose.
As a result, Timo Horn had to be on his toes. The visiting goalkeeper was out like a shot to smother from Rurik Gislason and got a boot to the midriff for his problems. Horn had to be alert moments later, as Kevin Behrens burned down the right to cross but for the shotstopper to gather well. Sandhausen meant business, and their solid defensive showings in recent weeks had bred confidence.
To be quite honest, the first half was completely forgettable. Until the last minute. After Simon Terodde’s effort was cleared by Philipp Klingmann, FC turned up the pressure and found a way through.
Sehrou Guirassy’s cross was controlled superbly by Louis Schaub, with that chest touch lining up an awkward bicycle kick attempt. Nevertheless, Schaub managed to loop the ball over the helpless Niklas Lomb and into the far top corner. It wasn’t necessarily deserved, but it was an incredible piece of individual brilliance to separate the sides at the break.
Terodde makes the points safe
After the restart, Anfang’s men came out and started to control the game more. That was certainly reassuring for FC fans, given the nature of the defeat to Paderborn. It wasn’t anything particularly special, but the team certainly appeared a lot less nervy.
Those nerves were laid to rest after 54 minutes, when Simon Terodde got the all-important second goal. He had been denied moments before by a solid block but made amends from the resulting corner, as he nodded in at the near post to double the lead and score his eighth of the season.
Sandhausen, to their credit, didn’t give in and brought on Fabian Schleusener and Florian Hansch to shift the emphasis and try to find a way back into the game. That didn’t materialise and while Gislason continued to be a thorn in the FC side, they were able to negate the threat and earn a deserved three points.
Köln will certainly want to lift that performance come Tuesday, when they welcome Ingolstadt to the Müngersdorfer Stadion. As far now, however, they sit top of the table once more. For Sandhausen, their tough start continues and doesn’t get any easier with a trip to fellow relegation candidates, Erzgebirge Aue in midweek.
SVS (4-2-3-1): Lomb; Klingmann, Kister, Verlaat, Paqarada (Wooten 80’); Linsmayer, Jansen (Hansch 62’); Behrens, Förster, Gislason; Guédé (Schleusener 62’).
KOE (4-1-4-1): T. Horn; Risse, Sobiech, Czichos, J. Horn; Höger; Clemens (Özcan 70’), Schaub, Drexler (Koziello 87’), Guirassy; Terodde (Cordoba 80’).
Goals: 0:1, Schaub 45+1’. 0:2, Terodde 54’.
Referee: Patrick Ittrich (Hamburg).
Booked: Höger (14’), Gislason (19’), Jansen (58’), Drexler (70’), Schaub (73’).