German Bundesliga: Cologne held on top-flight return
Last Updated: 23/08/14 9:28pm
A crowd of 50,000 at the Mungersdorfer Stadion watched Cologne play out a goalless draw with Hamburg on their return to the top flight.
Chances were at a premium in what seemed more like a pre-season warm-up match than the first appointment of what could be a long and hard season for both sides.
Hamburg started brighter with Cologne taking a while to shed their fears following two seasons in the 2. Bundesliga, but their response in the second half did not herald a winner.
In the pouring rain, which increased in intensity during the first half, the spirits of the fans could not be dampened even if their side gave them little to be happy about.
Hamburg posed the greater threat with Rafael van der Vaart pulling all the strings and creating openings which nobody was able to finish.
Tolgay Arslan wasted the first chance created by the Dutchman, who was particularly dangerous from set-pieces.
Van der Vaart showed he can create chances with his head too, setting up Pierre-Michel Lasogga for Hamburg's best opportunity right on the stroke of half-time.
Ivo Ilicevic wasted two good chances early in the second half and they appeared to stir the hosts into action.
Anthony Ujah and Yuya Osako had their first real openings of the game, although neither really tested Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler.
Marcel Risse had the last chance of the match, but he could not take advantage either as the spoils were shared.