Because Anthony Modeste scores for his late father shortly before the end, 1. FC Köln finished the first half of the season in eighth place. Stuttgart is slipping onto the relegation place.
Anthony Modeste looked up at the sky with moist eyes, then he fell into the arms of trainer Steffen Baumgart.
“Exactly three years ago today I lost my dad. I think that he was there for me during this campaign,” said the 1. FC Köln match winner after his last-minute goal to make it 1-0 (0-0) against VfB Stuttgart DAZN. Then the striker took his children by the hand and went on a lap of honor.
Modeste scored his eleventh goal of the season in the 88th minute, and was headed for the eighth time. Five days earlier he had scored the winning goal in the 89th minute at 3-2 in Wolfsburg. And not only that: With his 55th goal for FC, he is now level with the original Cologne-born Lukas Podolski.
“That was a bit emotional for me today,” said Modeste and thanked coach Baumgart, who had put his trust in him again at the start of the season. “We were honest with each other. That’s great for me. Now we can enjoy Christmas – I think we deserve it,” said Modeste.
VfB keeper Müller: “Bad game made”
The Cologne team, almost relegated from the previous season, got 25 points after 17 matchdays, thanks mainly to Modeste, and at Christmas they have a reassuring gap of eight points on the relegation zone. The Swabians (17) are in relegation rank 16. “Our defeat was deserved. We played a really wild and bad game,” said goalkeeper Florian Müller.
Both teams relied on their tried-and-tested game from the start and tried to win the ball in the opposing half, so things went back and forth quickly. Modeste scored in the third minute – but Florian Kainz had previously played the ball with his hand.
In the tenth minute the 15,000 fans cheered again, Louis Schaub scored brilliantly from an acute angle. This time the video assistant recognized an offside position.
Baumgart praises Modeste: “certain quality”
After the break, the picture hardly changed. Stuttgart initially seemed a bit stronger, Baumgart strengthened his offensive by taking on Mark Uth, as a result, FC were again overweight – but it stayed that way: there were hardly any scoring chances.
VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo also wanted the win, bringing among others Silas Katompa Mvumpa. The Cologne team were now closer to the goal, Modeste aimed twice (58./73.) Too imprecisely.
Shortly before the end he made it even better after substitute Kevin Schindler had done some preparatory work. “Tony does, Tony does”, said Baumgart and praised: “To do the header exactly like that, you have to have a certain quality.”