BERLIN, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Sehrou Guirassy's sole goal of the match helped Cologne beat Arsenal London 1-0 in UEFA Europa League's group stage on Thursday.
Cologne keep their chances alive to progress into the next round of the Europa League as Sehrou Guirassy's second-half penalty shocked Premier League giants Arsenal 1-0.
From the kick off, both teams exchanged attacks in an evenly balanced opening period as Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles tested Cologne's goalkeeper Timo Horn from a sharp angle, meanwhile Jhon Cordoba's effort forced visiting goalkeeper David Ospina to make a save just a moment later.
As the match progressed, Arsenal grabbed the reins and pressed the Billy Goats into the defense. Cologne custodian Horn had to defuse Jack Wilshere's header before Arsenal worked out the best chance of the first half when Francis Coquelin rattled the left post at the half-hour mark.
After the restart, both teams struggled to produce clear-cut opportunities. Milos Jojic assisted Guirassy with a build-up play but the striker failed to overcome Arsenal goalie Ospina from a promising position in the 60th minute.
However, Cologne's Guirassy remained in the thick off things as Mathieu Debuchy felled him inside the box three minutes later. Guirassy stepped up and converted the penalty to break the deadlock.
Cologne were unable to gain momentum despite the opener, while the visitors from London pressed frenetically for the equalizer. Nevertheless, the hosts were able to protect their narrow lead to the end.
With the result, Arsenal grab the win in Group H while Cologne, who secured only their third win in overall 18 season games, move to the second place with one game to spare. On the last match day, Cologne will travel to Crvena Zvezda to battle for a berth in the next round.
"It was a battle, a hard-fought win. The passion and fight for this game was there. I was incredibly impressed with my side. I'm proud of them and delighted we could take something from this game," Cologne head coach Peter Stoeger said.