A sensational comeback from Mainz, coming back from 2-0 down, saw them struggle a further point clear of relegation aggravation. They are now four points clear of Dusseldorf, who are third-bottom, while Koln’s carelessness means they stay 10th.
The game started at a decent clip, and it was clear from the outset that Koln were the classier, better-organised outfit. They took the lead omn just six minutes, when Mark Uth’s lovely touch drew a foul from Moussa Niakhate. After a brief 68 minute wait for VAR to confirm the referee’s penalty call, Uth smacked in the opener.
Though Mainz were lively in attack, Koln always looked the likelier, and the half-time introduction of Dominick Drexler seemed to have settled the game when his fine cross was headed home by Florian Kainz.
But Koln then sat back and stopped running, offering Mainz a finger only to see their whole hand disappear. First, Taiwo Awoniyi, on as sub, forced home a livener, then Kunde Malong ploughed through the home defence to slot a tremendous equaliser. Football: pretty good, I reckon.
Fooball without fans is slightly more than nothing. Football is not a television programme, and there's nothing good about not having fans in the ground. But it will be a long time before elite sport can happen in front of crowds, and something - especially if it brings joy and keeps clubs going - is better than nothing.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kunde Malong (Mainz) Jonas Hector ran the early stages of the game but Kunde drove his men forward and score a barnstorming equaliser.
Mark Uth is the first Koln player since 2004-05, when detailed data started being collected, to be involved in at least one goal in eight straight games. He has scored five and assisted four.
Mainz: Muller 6, St Juste 6, Fernandes 6, Niakhate 6, Baku 7, Kunde 7, Beotius 6, Caricol 7, Onisiwo 6, Ji 4, Quaison 6. Subs: Awoniyi 7, Latzxa 6, Szalai 6, Burkardt 6, Barreiro 6.
4’ - PENALTY TO FC! Leistner hits a long pass - there've been a few already - and Cordoba lays off adroitly, Uth's foot shooting up knee-eight to drag the ball into stride from behind him. It's a lovely touch and sends him marching into the box… where Niakhate clumsily trips him!
6’ - GOAL! FC Koln 1-0 Mainz (Uth pen) Uth smacks a sidefooter, left-footed, across Muller and into the side-netting. Nicely done.
12’ - Better from Mainz, Onisiwo taking possession on the edge of the box, turning, and nashing around the outside of FC's back line before cutting back for Boetius ... whose punched side-footer is deflected behind. The resultant corner comes to nothing.
54’ - GOAL! FC Koln 2-0 Mainz (Kainz) Lovely goal! Mainz got to sleep after conceding a free-kick, which the alert Hector knocks off to Schmitz. He sends Drexler away down the right, and a perfect cross picks out Kainz, arriving at the far post to headbutt home on the slide. What a substitution from Markus Gisdol! This is over!
61’ - GOAL! FC Koln 2-1 Mainz (Awoniyi) This is not over! Quaison clips a lovely ball inside Katterbach for Baku, who crosses low for Awoniwi ... and he does just enough, peeling off to force through the nearest defender and into the net.
72’ - GOAL! FC Koln 2-2 Mainz (Kunde) THIS IS NOT OVER! Kunde picks up possession 25 yards from goal and looks for Quaison, but then the space ahead of him opens and he absolutely hammers through it, blazing between four defenders and digging out a finish that was harder than it looked, popping the ball inside the near post. Football!