After the coup against Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Köln suffered a first setback in the Conference League.
Coach Steffen Baumgart’s team, which had defeated the German runners-up five days earlier in the Bundesliga, lost 1-0 (0-1) to Serbian club Partizan Belgrade and slipped from first to third place in Group D .
Svetozar Markovic (9th) made the decision early on for the guests, who took the lead in the standings with their first win in the current competition and spoiled the Cologne dress rehearsal for the derby on Sunday (3:30 p.m. / DAZN) at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
“We had very good opportunities where we didn’t score. That’s part of football. In one situation or another we lacked calm. Overall, the performance was fine,” said Baumgart on RTL.
Baumgart had changed his starting eleven by seven positions compared to the win against Dortmund. Among others, top performers Jonas Hector, Ellyes Skhiri and Dejan Ljubicic initially sat on the bench.
1. FC Köln conceded an early goal
And the new eleven had really found their way when they were already behind. After a free kick there was confusion in the Cologne penalty area, Markovic hit the lead with a header.
As a result, Cologne took control, pushed the Serbs far back and created chances. Sargis Adamyan (23′) headed to the crossbar, his strike partner Florian Dietz (31′) couldn’t get the ball past goalkeeper Aleksandar Popovic from a few yards out. These negligence almost took revenge, but Cologne keeper Marvin Schwäbe made an outstanding save from one of the few chances the guests had (41st).
Even after the break, nothing changed in the course of the game. Cologne pushed for an equaliser, but were unlucky at the end. Baumgart reacted after an hour with a change of three. Alongside Hector and Ljubicic came Linton Maina, but in this phase the focus was suddenly on several Swabians.
Cologne wanted to force the equalizer with their final offensive, and Mark Uth, who had recovered from a pubic bone operation, should also help. The ex-national player came on in the 71st minute – it didn’t help.