Friendly match: FC Koln 4 West Bromwich Albion 1
West Bromwich Albion paid the price for a miserable first-half display as they ended their pre-season tour of Holland and Germany with a second successive defeat.
The Baggies struggled to contain the Bundesliga new boys’ intelligent forward play and conceded four times in the opening 38 minutes.
Nemanja Vucicevic opened the scoring after just 56 seconds before further strikes from Milivoje Novakovic and Fabrice Ehret sandwiched a Roman Bednar own goal to put FC Koln firmly in charge in Euskirchen.
Substitute Craig Beattie bagged a consolation goal 14 minutes from time.
On-loan keeper Michal Danek made his debut but had to pick the ball out of the net within a minute. Paul Robinson failed to deal with centre-half Youssef Mohamad’s raking crossfield pass. Vucicevic pounced on the loose ball, cut in from the flank and fired low into the far corner of Danek’s net from 20 yards.
Danek was kept busy but again he could do little to prevent Novakovic doubling Koln’s advantage in the 25th minute when he rose highest to head home Fabrice Ehret’s pinpoint cross.
Within a couple of minutes, it was 3-0,
Miso Brecko whipped a left-wing free-kick across the six-yard box and the ball appeared to be turned into his own net by Bednar, even though the matchday announcer credited Antar with the goal.
It was 4-0 seven minutes before half time when Leon Barnett, in attempting to cut out marauding left-back Brecko’s low centre, inadvertently directed the ball to Ehret, who fired low past Danek from 15 yards.
Albion pulled a goal back 14 minutes from time when Beattie raced onto David Worrall’s pass and brushed side Aleksandar Mitreski before slipping the ball under sub keeper Thomas Kessler.