Super sub saves the day for Werder

Match report from the 1-0 away win over 1. FC Köln

The Green-Whites celebrating together.
The Green-Whites were able to celebrate their third away win on the trot thanks to a goal from Justin Njinmah (Photo: nordphoto).
Match Report
Friday, 16.02.2024 / 22:39

SV Werder Bremen reached a milestone on Friday night after beating 1. FC Köln 1-0 at the RheinEnergieSTADION to secure their third consecutive win on the road, a record which they haven’t beaten since 2020. After being substituted on just four minutes prior, Justin Njinmah came to the rescue for the Green-Whites after a goalless first half, firing home his fifth of the season in front of a crowd of 50,000 (70’). The youngster also scored in the 2-1 win over Köln in September, so he couldn’t help himself when the opportunity arose to do it for a second time. With a win under their belts, Ole Werner’s boys will take all three points back home to Bremen and climb into seventh in the table as a result.

Line-up and formation: For the first time since joining SVW during the winter transfer period, Julian Malatini made his starting XI debut in the away clash against Köln. Mitchell Weiser made his return to Werder’s right wing, while Felix Agu was named on the left. Nick Woltemade made his third start of the 2023/24 campaign, alongside his attacking partner Marvin Ducksch. Justin Njinmah and Olivier Deman started the game on the bench, with Niklas Stark being forced to sit out altogether due to hip problems.

Werder’s starting XI: Zetterer, Malatini, Friedl, Jung, Weiser, Lynen, Agu, Schmid, Stage, Ducksch, Woltemade

Bench: Dos Santos Haesler, Alvero, Bittencourt, Deman, Groß, Hansen-Aaeröen, Kownacki, Njinmah, Borré

Marvin makes his mark early on

First-half highlights:

1st minute:Werder have their first chance of the game just moments after kick-off, which sees Ducksch narrowly miss the target from 16 metres out. A good start for the Green-Whites!

30th minute: Friedl stops Finkgräfe in his tracks and initiates a Werder counter-attack. He finds Schmid in the box, but the Austrian’s shot is blocked.

31st minute: Ljubicic exploits a gap in Werder’s defence on the right, and plays the ball into Kainz. The Austrian’s left-footed strike goes wide of the net, and the Green-Whites breathe a sigh of relief.

33rd minute: Köln have another chance to open the scoring. Thielmann pulls the trigger from 17 metres out, but he can’t find the target.

45th minute +2: Half-time!

Starboy strikes again

Second-half highlights:

49th minute: Captain Friedl puts in a vital block against Martel to deny the hosts their equaliser!

61st minute: So close! Ducksch fires a corner towards the near post, which deflects off Hübers in the direction of the goal, but the ball flies wide by inches. Werder are unlucky from the subsequent corner, as Stage’s volley from nine meters out hits the ground and bounces over the bar.

70th minute: GOALLLL for the Green-Whites!! Lynen plays in Weiser on the right, who has the time and space to put in a precise cross. The ball finds its way past Köln’s keeper Schwäbe, allowing an awaiting Justin Njinmah to tap it in from close range (just four minutes after coming off the bench!)

75th minute: Ljubicic nods a corner towards the Werder net, but captain Friedl jumps into action and swipes the ball off the goal line, allowing Zetterer to grab it. Phew!

80th minute: Stage chips the ball into Ducksch, who brings it down and pulls the trigger. However, Schwäbe pulls off a magnificent save to prevent the visitors from doubling their lead.

90th minute +10: Full time! Werder win all three points against 1. FC Köln.

Summary: Werder responded well to last weekend’s defeat to 1. FC Heidenheim, and came back with a bang against 16th-place Köln. The Green-Whites were organised at the back, had success in 1-v-1s, and came out on top thanks to both hard work and a little bit of luck. Justin Njinmah was instrumental in the victory, with his impressive performance and goal off the bench helping to secure all three points. Marco Friedl was also a decisive player for the Green-Whites, as the captain saved the day twice for the boys after the break. SV Werder Bremen are now unbeaten in their fifth away games in a row, and were able to celebrate their third consecutive win on the road after Friday’s victory in the Rhineland.

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