VfL Bochum can do it away from home. In the last game before the World Cup break, the Ruhrpott team ended their misery away from home. In the end, is that even enough for a World Cup fairy tale?
The Bochum pros around match winner Christopher Antwi-Adjei walked in front of the fan curve with smiling faces and heard the call there that they hadn’t heard for so long. “Away win, away win”, echoed from the guest grandstand after the 1-0 (0-0) win at FC Augsburg. It was the first away points of the season.
“We’re going home with three points, that’s not bad,” said “Jimmy” Antwi-Adjei. He is not considered a top candidate for a place in Ghana’s World Cup squad. But it cannot be ruled out that national coach Otto Addo will nominate the 28-year-old on Monday.
The performance in front of 28,011 spectators, some of whom called for a World Cup boycott with a large banner, was convincing. Antwi-Adjei failed with a deflected shot by FCA keeper Rafal Gikiewicz (13′), hit the outside post (14′), stumbled alone in front of Gikiewicz (23′) and set up perfectly for Simon Zoller (45’+2′). Zoller’s ball just missed the goal.
Antwi-Adjei makes coaches cheer
It was not at all surprising that Antwi-Adjei let coach Thomas Letsch celebrate the lead on the sidelines – and that in a foreign stadium. After a lob by former Augsburger Konstantinos Stafylidis, the ball bounced back and forth between him and Gikiewicz, who shortened the angle well – and then it was in the goal.
“He has the self-confidence at the moment and is showing the quality he has with his speed,” said Letsch. “I’m extremely pleased that he got his reward.” But the entire team deserves a big compliment. And besides praise, there was also a reward. “The team knew: For every point we score here, there is one more day of vacation,” said the coach, during whose tenure twelve of Bochum’s 13 points came.
“The change of coach was good,” said Zoller. “We need a guiding hand and we have it.” His own action, which led to a hand penalty, surprised him a bit. “Don’t know if you have to give it,” said Zoller. But in the end it didn’t matter: Mergim Berisha didn’t put the hand penalty in the goal of penalty expert Manuel Riemann.
“We’re going into the break on a positive note”
The gripping final offensive by the Augsburgers, who never gave up, with goalkeeper Gikiewicz attacking at the end, was powerful but not crowned with success. Also because Bochum fought against it with a lot of passion. “We’re going into the break on a positive note,” said striker Philipp Hofmann before a long but certainly happy bus ride.
On the other hand, the frustration at FCA was huge. “You win against Bayern at home – why can’t you beat Bochum,” said Gikiewicz, speaking of his team’s “dead game” at times. Manager Stefan Reuter was also disappointed. “It’s clearly not enough,” he said of the meager FCA record of 15 points. VfL has moved up to two points.
The afternoon was even more bitter for Augsburg’s Carlos Gruezo, who buried his face in his jersey when he was substituted after 30 minutes. After an injury, he has to worry about participating in the World Cup. Ecuador nominated its tournament squad on Monday, the diagnosis was open on Saturday evening.