German Bundesliga report: Cologne 1 Hannover 1
Last Updated: 21/02/15 7:40pm
Cologne and Hannover shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 encounter on Saturday evening which nevertheless would not have satisfied anybody but the neutral spectator.
With both sides struggling for form, only a win would really have helped them in their respective attempts to move clear of the relegation zone or close in on the top six.
An own goal from Timo Horn gifted Hannover an early lead but Anthony Ujah netted Cologne's first goal at home since December to earn his side a point with both sides then missing numerous chances to take all three, while Hannover lost Joao Pereira to a late red card.
Hannover were straight onto the attack and Joselu could have given them a second-minute lead had he placed his header a bit further away from Horn.
He got a bit better direction on his next header in the fifth minute, meeting Miiko Albornoz's left-wing cross at the near post and striking the underside of the crossbar.
Fortunately for the Hannover forward this time, the ball came down and hit Horn on his shoulder, going in off the Cologne goalkeeper.
After Hannover's Marwin Hitz became only the third goalkeeper to score from open play earlier on Saturday, Horn also got his name on the scoresheet, albeit with an own goal.
Cologne had not scored at home in over two and a half months, but they ended that drought in the 17th minute when Ujah equalise, stealing in after two deflections to head past Ron-Robert Zieler from close range for his eighth of the season and first in 2015.
It was also Cologne's first goal at home in over 360 minutes and appeared to remove their shackles with Ujah continuing to make a nuisance of himself and Yuya Osako also getting into a good shooting position.
Thy carried their momentum into the second half and could have taken the lead early on, but Dominic Maroh's effort went agonisingly across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
Hannover's response was a powerful free-kick from Ceyhun Gulselam which Horn pushed behind for a corner.
Lars Stindl also tested Horn as Hannover started to hit back, but Slawomir Peszko then went even closer and Ujah tested Zieler as the game opened up.
Tiredness did not seem to show on either side as they continued to go full throttle in search for a win, but in the end, they got the result neither of them wanted while Hannover lost Pereira to a late red card to make matters even worse for them.