1. FC Union Berlin fought hard in Köln and will return to the capital with a point following a 2-2 draw at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion.
Julian Ryerson made it back-to-back Bundesliga goals after his first-ever league strike for Union Berlin at home to Bayern Munich last weekend. Ryerson's equaliser pegged Köln back after Anthony Modeste opened the scoring. Grischa Prömel struck near half-time before Union dominated most of the second half. Despite a strong showing by Urs Fischer's side, Modeste struck with four minutes to play to leave both teams with a share of the spoils.
1. FC Köln: Horn; Schmitz, Hübers (Killian 65), Czichos, Hector; Ljubicic, Özcan; Kainz, Duda (Thielmann 65), Uth (Andersson 76); Modeste
1. FC Union Berlin: Luthe; Knoche, Friedrich, Baumgartl; Gießelmann, Ryerson, Prömel, Haraguchi (Öztunali 85), Khedira; Awoniyi (Behrens 85), Becker (Voglsammer 71)
Niko Gießelmann, Timo Baumgartl, Taiwo Awoniyi, Julian Ryerson and Grischa Prömel were brought back into the side having sat out Thursday's UEFA Europa Conference League defeat to Feyenoord at the Olympic Stadium. After Prömel headed over in the third minute, the visitors from Köpenick had to deal with an early set back. Anthony Modeste finished off a rebound from Florian Kainz's powerful shot which came back off the crossbar and landed right in the direction of the French striker. As soon as the goal song of the home side petered out, Union drew level through Ryerson. The Norwegian full-back showed great determination to support the attack on the break, and then cooly dispatched a shot into Horn's near-post corner. Three minutes later, a cleared corner kick landed as far as Genki Haraguchi but the Japan internationalist fired over with a half-volley attempt. Patterns started to develop in the match and one particularly was the ability from Union on the counter-attack, helped by the superb hold-up play of Awoniyi. Referee Tobias Stieler adjudged there to be no foul on the Union top goalscorer after he was brought down on the edge of the box by Timo Hübers. Stieler consulted with the video assistant referee, but as the foul was not deemed to be inside the box, Union gained nothing for their efforts. 1. FC Köln created a double chance to get in front, but Union held out. Modeste headed wide from the edge of the box on 38 minutes before Ondrej Duda smashed a shot off the side-netting two minutes later. Although the home side had enjoyed a good period of play, Union fought back before referee Stieler blew the whistle for half-time. Union's aggressive pressing put Köln under pressure at the back, with Rafael Czichos conceding play to Prömel. The midfielder combined with Haraguchi before finishing past Timo Horn from about six yards out in the first minute of stoppage time. It could have got even better for the Köpenick club as Taiwo Awoniyi fought past his marker Hübers but blazed his effort over from close range.
Steffen Baumgart's team were protecting an unbeaten home record having secured impressive results against RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. The Billy Goats peppered the away box without creating a lot of clear opportunities. On 51 minutes, Dejan Ljubicic fired one from distance but Andreas Luthe parried wide. Florian Kainz's cross two minutes later was flicked towards goal by Jonas Hector but the ball landed fortunately for Union on the other side of the post. From here, Union kept Köln at arm's length while moving the ball around with zip and precision. Genki Haraguchi followed up a strong match on Thursday in Europe with another terrific midfield performance. He drove down the right-hand side on 55 minutes, picked out Awoniyi around 20 yards out but the shot was miles over Horn's crossbar. Andreas Voglsammer was Union's first change in place of Sheraldo Becker who also ran an excellent race in attack. Sebastian Andersson, who left Union for Köln in 2020, was introduced with 14 minutes to go. Union switched around to give the team some fresh legs going into the final sprint – Awoniyi and Haraguchi were replaced by Kevin Behrens and Levin Öztunali. But Baumgart's side dug deep and found another gear to push Union into a difficult position on the edge of their own box. A set-piece was key to the equaliser and Modeste headed past Luthe with four minutes left. There was one last opportunity for the Köpenick club to salvage three points but Horn was in the right place at the right time to block Voglsammer's goal-bound volley at the front post. One or two dangerous balls ended up coming into the Union penalty box, but in the end the away side held on to the one point despite the pressure from the home team.