Harambee Stars prospect features in unorthodox striker role in defeat to Bayern Munich

Harambee Stars prospect features in unorthodox striker role in defeat to Bayern Munich

Mark Kinyanjui 21:00 - 13.04.2024

Maina featured as a striker as Koln lost 2-0 to a rotated Bayern Munich squad with sights on their second leg Champions League clash against Arsenal next week.

Harambee Stars prospect Linton Maina featured in an unusual striker role for FC Koln but still could not influence the game as they lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga clash on Saturday.

Maina, who has mostly featured as a winger for the side on both flanks, featured for 67 minutes, and looked okay running the left channels. He produced one shot on target and was impressive with his passing while playing with his back to goal.

The 24-year-old has registered one goal and made two assists in the Bundesliga this season, with Koln struggling big time.

The result means Leverkusen must now beat Werder Bremen on Sunday to etch their name onto the Meisterschale this weekend, while Mainz's 4-1 victory over Hoffenheim was a huge blow to 17th-placed Koln's hopes of avoiding automatic relegation this campaign.

With an eye on next week's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Arsenal, Thomas Tuchel rotated his starting XI as the likes of Mathys Tel and Müller took to the field.

Bayern had their fair share of chances in the game, with Faride Alidou firing narrowly wide early on and Mathys Tel testing Koln goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe with a long-range effort. Sven Ulreich, standing in for Manuel Neuer, made a crucial save to deny Sargis Adamyan's close-range header.

Despite hitting the woodwork twice through Harry Kane and Tel, Bayern failed to find the breakthrough in the first half. Koln also threatened on the counter-attack, with Alidou coming close to giving them the lead with a header just before half-time.

Bayern introduced Jamal Musiala at the start of the second half to provide a spark, and he came close with a shot over the bar after some neat footwork. Florian Kainz also had an opportunity but headed straight at Ulreich.

The breakthrough finally came for Bayern from a short corner, with Guerreiro curling a shot into the far corner from outside the area. Koln pushed for an equalizer, but a stretched hand denied Steffen Tigges a chance to level the scores. Thomas Müller's composed finish late in the game added gloss to the scoreline for Bayern.

With the defeat, Koln's focus now shifts to their crucial relegation battle, while Bayern awaits their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Arsenal next week.

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