Frankfurt debutant Nkounkou strikes late to rescue point against Cologne

football03 September 2023 15:59| © AFP
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Niels Nkounkou

Eintracht Frankfurt Niels Nkounkou scored on his debut with two minutes remaining to snatch a point in a 1-1 home draw against Cologne on Sunday.

With Cologne holding onto a surprise lead against a dominant Frankfurt after a first-half penalty from captain Florian Kainz, Nkounkou came off the bench with the clock winding down.

The French defender, who signed from Saint Etienne on Friday, rattled in a winner ten minutes after coming on to send the home fans into raptures.

Frankfurt came into the match having lost key striker Randal Kolo Muani, who made a 95-million-euro ($102.5 million) move to Paris Saint-Germain just before the transfer window shut on Friday.

Despite just one season in the European financial capital, Kolo Muani had established himself at the heart of Frankfurt's attack, scoring 15 and assisting 11 of the club's 58 league goals.

Frankfurt controlled possession early, France midfielder Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe carving out two half-chances midway through the first half but failing to convert.

Philipp Max was Frankfurt's best player in the opening half but gave away a penalty just before halftime, sticking out a stray leg and connecting with Eric Martel.

Cologne captain Kainz stepped up to the spot and duly converted, the visitors taking a surprise 1-0 lead into the half despite being thoroughly outclassed.

Frankfurt continued to control proceedings but Cologne stubbornly held on, home coach Dino Toppmoeller bringing on debutant Nkounko with 15 minutes remaining.

With two minutes to go, Nkounko collected the ball in the box and blasted past Cologne goalie Marvin Schwaebe, equalising for the home side.

Later on Sunday, Union Berlin can reclaim top spot in the table with victory over RB Leipzig.