Red-hot Podolski leads Koln past Hoffenheim

Lukas Podolski scored one goal and set up another as Cologne beat Hoffenheim 2-0 for their first home victory of the Bundesliga season.

Podolski set up Mato Jajalo’s opening goal for Cologne in the 20th minute and made it 2-0 after 64 minutes.

It was Cologne’s third win in their last four games after a disappointing start to their campaign.

The hosts grabbed the lead after 20 minutes when Jajalo snatched the ball from Sebastian Rudy in the midfield and passed forward to Podolski for a return pass and the Croatian’s shot got through the legs of Hoffenheim defender Dominik Kaiser.

Hoffenheim had a chance 11 minutes later but Cologne keeper Michael Rensing did a fine job saving Rudy’s long distance strike.

Cologne had more of the ball and Podolski nearly doubled the lead after 52 minutes but struck only the side netting.

Podolski got his goal in the 64th minute with Christian Eichner sending a long ball to the Germany international, who faked a pass into the middle to Milivoje Novakovic and then hammered a left-footed shot inside the near left post for a 2-0 lead.

Podolski was close to pushing the advantage to 3-0 with 15 minutes to play but his free-kick from 18 yards went just over the goal.

Hoffenheim missed two more chances as Knowledge Musona’s long-range effort went just wide in the 80th minute and Ryan Babel’s looping shot found only the top of the net with three minutes to play.