Cologne hold Schalke to 2-2 draw in Bundesliga

Berlin, April 23: Bottom-placed team Cologne is on the brink of relegation after playing a 2-2 draw with Schalke in the Bundesliga football championship.

Cologne on Sunday came back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against second-placed Schalke, reports Xinhua news agency.

Cologne needed a victory to increase their chances of staying up. However, their hopes were dashed as the "Royal Blues" broke the deadlock after just four minutes when Yevhen Konoplyank had all time and space to provide Bree Embolo with the assist.

Konoplyank remained in the thick of things as the Ukrainian international raced clear on the right wing to beat Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn in the 23rd minute.

Despite conceding two early goals, Cologne reduced the deficit as Leonardo Bittencourt made it 1-2 from close range three minutes later.

After the restart, Schalke remained in control but were unable to make the most of their promising chances. Cologne punished Schalke's wastefulness in the closing minutes of the encounter as Marcel Risse's vicious 25-meter free kick ensured that both teams would leave with a point.

With the result, last placed Cologne are eight points away from safety. "We gave everything to the last second. We are not relegated yet, we still have to win three times," Cologne's coach Stefan Ruthenbeck said.

Schalke's coach Domenico Tedesco said: "The way we played in the first half was good but you cannot play more arrogantly. We squandered too many scoring opportunities."

Elsewhere, Augsburg ended their four-game winless streak and secured their top-flight status for next season after cruising past Mainz 2-0.

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