Bayer Leverkusen’s women retained the upper hand in the Rhenish derby against the offensively harmless 1. FC Köln and clinched their third win of the season.
Leverkusen won 1-0 (1-0) at the start of the 5th matchday on Friday evening in Cologne’s Franz Kremer Stadium and climbed to third place, at least temporarily. Cologne suffered their second defeat in a row and remained seventh for the time being. Janou Levels (36th) scored the only goal of the game with a deflected shot.
First chance to score after half an hour
FC coach Daniel Weber made three changes to the starting eleven after the 3-0 defeat in Bremen: Sofie Vendelbo, Lena Uebach and Dora Zeller replaced Janina Hechler, Laura Donhauser and Meike Messmer. Leverkusen had to do without Lilla Turányi, Elisa Senss and Nikola Karczewska due to illness; Eva van Deursen, Melissa Friedrich and Estrella Merino Gonzalez replaced them.
The derby was very intense right from the start. Leverkusen was the more active team and had more possession. However, both teams initially lacked precision on offense. The first significant scoring opportunity came in the 33rd minute: Bayer’s Karolina Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir moved in from the left corner of the penalty area and aimed at the near corner, but Cologne goalkeeper Jasmin Pal was there.
Levels puts Leverkusen in the lead
With the best attack of the game to date, Leverkusen finally took the lead. After a remarkable combination between Kristin Kögel and Gonzalez Merino, the ball came to Level on the left side of the penalty area (36th), which hit the bottom left corner – Cologne’s Vendelbo deflected the shot unstoppably.
Cologne appeared more courageous in the second half. After an hour, FC also had their first good opportunity, Martyna Wiankowska (61′) hit the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area. The hosts tried hard, but Leverkusen’s defense hardly allowed anything to happen.
In the last 20 minutes, Leverkusen had the game back under control and had more room for counterattacks, which mostly lacked determination. The best chance to make it 2-0 went to Vilhjálmsdóttir (80′), whose attempt narrowly missed the far post.