Augsburg edged closer to Bundesliga safety with a 0-0 draw against 10-man Cologne. The Bavarian side had the better chances, particularly after Cologne captain Matthias Lehmann was sent off, but couldn’t capitalize.
Augsburg 0- 0 Cologne
While Cologne secured safety with a 4-1 win over Darmstadt last week, even three wins in their last three games wasn’t enough for Augsburg to be mathematically safe going in to Friday night’s game. The point gained in this drab encounter isn’t quite enough to guarantee the Bavarian club’s safety, but it does make relegation a very unlikely prospect for Markus Weinzierl's men.
The home side started with a confidence and purpose borne of their form and the reward on offer, defenders Dominic Maroh and Tobias Werner both going close with headed chances in the opening five minutes.
But the visitors had won their last two games and gradually worked their way back in to the contest, though neither side were able to carve out much of note as an opening period largely devoid of inspiration meandered to a conclusion.
The second half started in much the same way as the first. Again it was the home side that went closest and again it was a header from a defender. This time Ragnar Klavan’s powerful effort cleared the bar.
Augsburg’s chances improved shortly before the hour mark when Cologne captain Matthias Lehmann was sent off for challenging with his foot for a bouncing ball that Werner went for with his head. Lehmann caught the Augsburg man in the middle of the forehead, drawing a stream of blood and a second yellow card.
Werner was bandaged up and sent back out, only to be substituted minutes later for striker Raúl Bobadilla in a tactical move as the hosts sought to make their numerical advantage count. The Paraguayan struck a free kick wide soon after when Cologne substitute Milos Jojic failed to learn the lesson of his skipper’s dismissal and caught Augsburg’s Markus Feulner in the back. Jojic was booked.
The home side began to sense a win. Halil Altintop curled wide after a promising run and in-form striker Alfred Finnbogason couldn’t quite control a back-post header. But when Bobadilla scuffed a chance near the penalty spot in the dying minutes, it became apparent that the game would end in stalemate. And so it did.
If results go their way on Saturday Augsburg could be safe by the end of Matchday 32. Their remaining two fixtures are away to Schalke on May 7 and at home to Hamburg the week after.