Kenyan winger helps Koln keep faint Bundesliga hopes alive with priceless win over Union Berlin

Kenyan winger helps Koln keep faint Bundesliga hopes alive with priceless win over Union Berlin

Mark Kinyanjui 07:30 - 12.05.2024

Maina grabbed himself the winning assist as Koln came from behind to beat Union Berlin 3-1.

Harambee Stars prospect Linton Maina played a massive role in helping FC Köln display immense resilience to claw back from a 0-2 deficit and secure a vital victory over Union Berlin, keeping their slim hopes of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga alive.

Maina produced an assist having come off the bench, which actually decided the winning goal by Damion Downs in stoppage time, and there will now be plenty to play for on the last day against Heldenheim.

The match began disastrously for Köln as they found themselves trailing by two goals early on. Robin Knoche opened the scoring for Union Berlin with a well-placed header at the quarter-hour mark, followed swiftly by Kevin Volland converting a penalty in the 19th minute after Faride Alidou was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

Struggling to recover from the early setbacks, Köln lacked impetus in attack for much of the first half. However, their fortunes took a turn just before halftime when referee Deniz Aytekin awarded them a penalty for a foul on Timo Hübers.

Florian Kainz duly converted from the spot, offering Köln a glimmer of hope as they headed into the break.

Despite Köln's efforts to press forward after the break, Union Berlin remained resolute in defense and controlled possession for much of the second half. The visitors came close to extending their lead with chances , but were unable to capitalize.

With time running out and hopes fading, Köln produced a dramatic comeback in the dying minutes of the game.Steffen Tigges rose to the occasion, leveling the score with a well-taken free-kick in the 87th minute, igniting hope among the home fans.

 Köln completed their comeback deep into injury time, as Maina provided a pinpoint cross for substitute Damion Downs to head home the winner at the far post in the 93rd minute.

The remarkable turnaround keeps FC Köln's survival aspirations alive, albeit by a slender margin. 

With one match remaining in the season, they remain three points behind Union Berlin, with a challenging task ahead to secure their place in the league for another season. 

However, their fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude offer a glimmer of hope in their battle against relegation.

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