SV Wehen Wiesbaden and FC Viktoria Köln parted with a 2:2 draw on the 21st match day of the 3rd Liga. After going behind twice in the BRITA Arena, Phillip Tietz (64’) and Maurice Malone (87’) scored the equalisers.
After the draw in Verl, SVWW manager, Rüdiger Rehm, record-breaking trainer since Sunday, changed his starting team in four positions. Marvin Ajani, Marc Lais, Lucas Brumme and Phillip Tietz came into the team for Moritz Kuhn, Paterson Chato, Benedict Hollerbach and Maurice Malone. Tietz created a two-striker formation with Gustaf Nilsson. This came to an end after only 19 minutes, however, when Malone came on for Nilsson who got himself a bloody nose in an aerial duel.
Shortly after the second change, the game took off. The Cologne team, under interim manager Daniel Zillken, played an early pressing game, making it difficult for the hosts to build up their game. A deflected kick out from Tim Boss landed near Marcel Risse, whose shot from about 18 metres out was stopped by the SVWW keeper (21’). But, with the subsequent corner, Boss hadn’t a chance. After a clearing shot, Simon Handle kicked the ball from a half-left position. In the centre, ex-SVWW player, Jeremias Lorch, got his toe to the ball and deflected the unstoppable shot into the net to make it 0:1 for the guests (21’).
Going into the lead gave Viktoria Köln a boost, as they had lost each of their last six games. Only 60 seconds after the Lorch goal, Mike Wunderlich had the opportunity to make it 0:2. After solid groundwork by Lucan Cueto, the Viktoria captain put the ball only centimetres past the SVWW goal (22’).
The Red and Blacks took a few minutes to get back into the game and to adapt to the early pressing by the Cologne team. After winning the ball in centrefield, the hosts switched direction quickly. From Lais to Prokop to Malone, the ball then landed on the right wing where Ajani took it and brought it to the goal area. Malone jumped the highest, headed the ball – but hit the post (28’). Lais, who had run in, got to the ball at short distance but was so surprised that he couldn’t convert it – a mega opportunity to equalise.
It was now one shot after the other. Both teams tried consistently to move forward in attack. The team from the Cathedral city of Cologne continued to play for the second goal: After 38 minutes, Timmy Thiele’s side volley from 16 metres out crashed against the post – this time SVWW had got super lucky.
At this stage, there was little between the two teams and the attacking play of the hosts became more and more effective. After a strong dribble, Brumme attempted to finish it off but was caught up in the Cologne defence. Tietz was the quickest to switch over and hammered the ball from ten metres towards the goal. Guest keeper, Sebastian Mielitz, who could only watch as the ball flew past, would have been defeated if the ball hadn’t whizzed over the crossbar (40.). The Cologne number 1 was in the right place in injury time. Mielitz fished a header by Dominik Prokop out of the air, and therefore kept the guests in the lead going into the break (45’+1).
The second half started with increased possession for the Red and Blacks. Cologne retreated a bit and were no longer pressing as far up the pitch as in the first half. SVWW looked for gaps in the Cologne defence but the spaces were well closed off. Viktoria manage to penetrate here and there by counterattacking. But, both teams lacked that final punch.
The game moved over and back, and apart from a header from a corner on each side, neither team had a shot at goal. They had already been playing an hour when SVWW captain, Sascha Mockenhaupt, lobbed the ball into the box. Tietz took the ball and shot from a sharp angle to equalize (64’).
Viktoria now had difficulty creating opportunities from the game, but the sharp set pieces that Wunderlich sent towards the Boss goal were still dangerous. About 20 minutes before the end, Wunderlich found Lorch at the far post, who didn’t manage to put enough power into his header from a short distance.
Both teams increased the intensity yet again in the final phase. As neither team wanted a draw, both SVWW and Viktoria Köln created plenty of room to manoeuvre in attack. The speedy Cueto made use of this in the 81st minute, cruising past his opponents, the ball tightly controlled, and putting the ball in the net from a tight angle and short distance, to put the guests in the lead once again.
With fire in their belly, the Rehm XI attempted to come back again but in the decisive moments they lacked that little bit of precision when passing or receiving the ball. Despite this, they didn’t let their heads hang but showed courage – and were rewarded for it. Once again, Mockenhaupt passed a long ball into the centre forward area, finding Jakov Medic this time whose assist to Malone was pressed over the line with the right foot (87’).
But, the hosts wanted even more. Only a few seconds later, Malone popped up in front of Mielitz after a similar play up along the left-hand side. This time, however, the young player didn’t quite connect with the ball – almost a last-minute lead (89’). The powerplay by the Red and Blacks in injury time showed that they were hell bent on playing out a victory. Seconds before the end, Dennis Kempe had another shot but was blocked, and the final Prokop cross landed in the arms of Viktoria keeper, Mielitz (90’+4).
SVWW: Boss – Ajani (77’ Kuhn), Mockenhaupt, Carstens, Kempe – Prokop, Medic, Lais, Brumme (77’. Hollerbach) – Nilsson (19. Malone), Tietz