The Billy Goats had tinkered with relegation all season but produced a memorable display to record a massive away win on Saturday
One-time Super Eagles invitee Kingsley Ehizibue was a rock in defence for Cologne to help the side hand Holstein Kiel a 5-1 defeat at the Holstein Stadion in the second leg of their Bundesliga playoff.
And despite losing the first leg 1-0 on home soil, Cologne produced their best performance of the campaign to claim a 5-2 aggregate and avoid demotion to the Bundesliga 2.
Cologne brought in two Nigerian strikers Taiwo Arokodare and Club Brugge-owned Emmanuel Dennis, on temporary deals but still ended as one of the lowest scoring sides in the Bundesliga.
And only a last gasp win over Schalke in the season’s final match prevented Friedhelm Funkel’s men from getting demoted last weekend.
With Dennis’s loan deal terminated prematurely following a string of unimpressive showings and Arokodare sidelined, Ehizibue only watched from the bench as Simon Lorenz’s solitary strike gave Kiel the advantage at the RheinEnergieStadion three days ago.
Arokodare yet again didn’t make the matchday squad on Saturday, but Ehizibue returned to the starting line-up and he impressed as Cologne blasted five goals past their hapless opponent.
The win guarantees the Billy Goats their Bundesliga status ahead of next season.