A late flurry of goals saw FC Koln emerge 3-1 victors over Stuttgart in their Bundesliga opener at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday evening.
- Stuttgart 1-3 FC Koln
- Modeste penalty gives visitors the lead
- Zoller quickly doubles their advantage
- Didavi halves deficit from penalty spot
- Osako seals win for Billy Goats
Following a goalless first half, Anthony Modeste fired the visitors in front from the penalty spot on 75 minutes before Simon Zoller added a quick-fire second to put Peter Stoger's side in command.
There were more goals to follow in the closing stages as Daniel Didavi converted his spot-kick to pull one back for the Reds on 79 minutes, with Yuya Osako then wrapping up the three points for the Billy Goats after netting in stoppage time.
FC Koln almost made a flying start in the Swabian city when skipper Matthias Lehmann rattled the left post with his fierce strike from outside the area on two minutes.
On seven minutes it was Stuttgart's turn to be denied by the woodwork as Didavi saw his effort from long range come back off the crossbar with visiting goalkeeper Timo Horn well beaten.
Christian Gentner was next to try his luck from distance for the hosts, but he met the same fate as the ball rebounded off the left upright on 12 minutes.
Didavi then tested Horn with a shot from outside the area, before the keeper pulled off a smart save to keep out Adam Hlousek's goal-bound header moments later.
At the other end Przemyslaw Tyton was finally given some work to do when he made a diving save to prevent Marcel Risse from opening the scoring for Stoger's men on 32 minutes.
The first half finished goalless after numerous efforts from long range from both teams failed to test either shot-stopper.
Horn was called into action six minutes after the restart as he turned away a shot from Didavi inside the area, before Martin Harnik drew another save from the keeper with his strike from a similar position on 65 minutes.
Tyton made a routine stop to keep out Leonardo Bittencourt from inside the area on the left, while at the opposite end Harnik tested Horn from an acute angle just seconds later.
Tyton was at fault for the opening goal on 75 minutes after he brought down Modeste inside the 18-yard box, with the striker dusting himself off and slotting home the resulting penalty.
Worse was to follow for Tyton as he was beaten at his near post by Zoller's strike from the left side of the box just two minutes later to extend the visitors' advantage.
However, Zoller then went from hero to villain on 79 minutes when he fouled Filip Kostic inside the area to concede a penalty, which was duly converted by Didavi.
Alexander Zorniger's troops desperately went in search of the equaliser in the final 10 minutes, but their eagerness to push up left them vulnerable at the back and they were hit on the counter-attack in stoppage time as Osako grabbed a third for FC Koln to seal an opening-day win.