In front of 23,020 spectators, the European Cup contender came that much closer to victory in a very mediocre game. After the end of the 21st round of the Bundesliga, coach Pellegrino Matarazzo and his team have been without a three-pointer for seven games.

After the game ended, the team approached the fans and was forced to listen to criticism. “It was an exchange of views between the fans and the team. Of course, the fans, like us, are unhappy with the current stage. That’s why it was important to look into each other’s eyes and exchange a few words. Next week against Union “And again at home it’s about three points. We need every person in the stadium,” said Grisha Premelbut did not wish to disclose any details of the contents.

A week after their 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, the Cologne side have failed to widen their gap to FSV Mainz 05 and Darmstadt 98 in the basement of the table and are five points behind 1. Union Berlin in the relegation zone.

“More like defeat”

“To concede a goal like that in the 94th minute is incredibly disappointing,” Cologne player Benno Schmitz said on streaming service DAZN. “It feels more like a defeat,” said scorer Finkgrefe, “but in the end, every point matters.” And captain Florian Kainz said: “All the games we played in the new year were not bad. We could have gotten even more points.”

Even on his one-year anniversary in Kraichgau, Matarazzo could not turn the tide in the harmless Hoffenheim team. TSG have won just one of their last twelve games – and remain behind in terms of requirements and form.

Protests also took place in Sinsheim.

Immediately after the break, protests also took place at the Sinsheim stadium against the planned entry of investors into the German Football League (DFL). Apples flew onto the lawn from the Cologne turn. Visiting fans were also shown a poster, likely featuring a caricature of TSG patron Dietmar Hopp in the crosshairs. Referee Christian Dingert interrupted the game for several minutes.

The many vocal FC Cologne fans who visited temporarily turned the arena into a home game for their football club. The visitors, who had to play without injured forwards Davy Selke, Mark Uth and Luca Waldschmidt, had Luca Kylian playing in central defense for the ill Timo Huibers.

At TSG, defensive director Florian Grillitsch had already filled the role of ball distributor at the back in the preparation game, but initially there was a problem in the front third. Ikhlas Bebu missed just under a quarter of an hour from a promising position. The goal scorer, Andrej Kramaric, unexpectedly sat on the bench.

Thanks to energetic fights and tactical discipline, the Cologne team largely kept their opponents out of their own goal. However, goalkeeper Marvin Schwebe (25th) had to save with his foot when Wout Weghorst made a deflected shot. And just before the break, the Dutchman turned the ball over the crossbar.

Otherwise, TSG’s game lacked the pace and movement to cause trouble for relegation candidates more often than not. However, the Cologne side had even fewer opportunities to attack in the first half thanks to striker Jan Thielmann in his 100th league game – but 19-year-old Finkgräfe then deceived TSG goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with a precise free-kick into the right corner. In stoppage time, Kramaric snatched away all the visitors’ dreams of victory.
© dpa

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