Bundesliga relegation: Bochum beats Düsseldorf and remains in the top division

Bundesliga relegation: Bochum beats Düsseldorf and remains in the top division

What a comeback! After the debacle in the first leg, Bochum secured their place in the league in Düsseldorf.

With an incredible energy performance in a thrilling relegation match, VfL Bochum managed the miracle of staying in the league and snatched Fortuna Düsseldorf’s seemingly certain promotion to the Bundesliga from their grasp at the last minute. After an almost hopeless 0:3 deficit in the first leg, Bochum turned the relegation match around in the second leg in the Düsseldorf EM-Arena, which was packed with 51,500 spectators, with a 6:5 penalty shootout. Düsseldorf’s Takashi Uchino was unlucky, shooting the twelfth penalty over the goal.

VfL Bochum achieves historic comeback in Düsseldorf

After regular playing time and extra time, the score was 3-0 (1-0) on Monday evening. In regular playing time, Philipp Hofmann in the 18th minute and 66th minute and Kevin Stöger (70th) forced extra time with their goals.

There was sheer horror among the Fortuna fans who had streamed into the stadium in a great party mood when the guests celebrated their sensational coup on the pitch. Even before the match, the Fortuna fans were in a great party mood. Many pubs in the city offered the live broadcast and were packed.

Two hours before the match, there was a kilometer-long march of fans to the stadium. After four years of abstinence, Düsseldorf is again looking forward to Bundesliga football. But the anticipation did not last until the end. The Düsseldorf team actually let the promotion that was within their grasp slip away. The Bochum team, on the other hand, could hardly believe their luck, but took full advantage of their opportunities.

Bundesliga relegation decided in penalty shootout

The guests set the tone on the field. Interim coach Heiko Butscher changed his team in three positions and put captain Anthony Losilla back in the starting line-up. Bochum dominated the game and had their first big chance after a free kick from the outstanding Stöger from the left and the opening goal through Hofmann, who scored with his head from five meters out.

The hosts had been very cautious up until then and only managed to get a few offensive moments through counterattacks and striker Christos Tzolis. As expected, coach Daniel Thioune named the starting eleven that won comfortably in Bochum on Thursday. It took the goal against them to wake up Düsseldorf.

After half an hour, Vincent Vermeij had the chance to equalize, but narrowly missed. The pressure increased, the support from the stands even louder. Driven by the strong Marcel Sobottka, the Rhinelanders had some good offensive scenes. Things got tricky for the guests whenever Tzolis was on the attack. Fortuna’s striker was unsuccessful in scoring, however, and his corner kicks did not pose a major threat this time either.

Centre forward Hofmann, who only managed to score four goals all season, scored the important 2-0 again after a cross from Stöger. VfL then gained the upper hand and was also awarded a handball penalty after the ball hit Matthias Zimmermann’s arm in the penalty area. Stöger converted the penalty confidently, Fortuna’s keeper Florian Kastenmeier had no chance.

This means that Düsseldorf will remain in the second division next year and will have to abandon their dreams of promotion. The celebrations that had already been planned had to be cancelled. In sporting terms, the team will probably be without their best players like Tzolis next season and will face great competition in their quest to return to the Bundesliga. Bochum, on the other hand, can plan for the fourth year in a row, but will have to reorganise their personnel, including the coaching position.

Source: Stern

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