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0 against Freiburg on the edge

“We tried everything, but the goal was missing,” Faride Alidou, who missed the biggest chance of the match in the 71st minute, told Sky: “It hurts terribly because we really need the goals. We are going full throttle, but without goals we cannot win games.”

In the final phase, goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe even went forward – but it didn’t help. “It’s extremely sad that we couldn’t give the fans what they deserve,” said the goalkeeper: “That wasn’t enough.”

The people of Cologne now have to look helplessly ahead to Sunday’s matches in Heidenheim and Berlin. If FSV Mainz 05 won at 1. FC Heidenheim and Union Berlin and VfL Bochum also drew, Cologne would certainly be relegated. Christian Keller visibly tried not to use the bad word ‘relegation’. “Of course we are not naive and we know what could happen tomorrow. We know that we will be on the bench tomorrow…” said the sporting director of 1. FC Köln and paused for a moment: “…that it will happen could go in the wrong direction.”

By the “wrong direction”, Keller means the seventh relegation in the club’s history to the 2nd Bundesliga, which he described shortly afterwards as “the bad scenario”. And Keller knows that, not only after the missed three-pointer against SC Freiburg, “this is also a real scenario. But we also know that we have to play first tomorrow and that we might get a mini-chance,” Keller continued.

“We still hope,” Alidou said. If, in addition to a win in Mainz, there is also a winner at the Alte Försterei, there would at least be a minimal residual chance if there were a six-point deficit with two games to go.

Even Freiburg’s captain Christian Günter suffered after the final whistle. “As a footballer, everyone’s heart bleeds. They still have a small chance, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them. The fans, the city and the stadium deserve to be in the first division,” said Günter, whose team finished seventh in the European Cup.