VfL Bochum secure their spot in Bundesliga in the playoff against Fortuna Düsseldorf

In a huge comeback, VfL Bochum remain in the Bundesliga, as in the relegation play off the beat Fortuna Dusseldorf. .

The team led by coach Heiko Butscher, who seemed to be defeated, managed to win the relegation playoff second leg against Fortuna Dusseldorf with a score of 6:5 in a penalty shootout. This incredible victory came after a previous loss of 0:3 in the first leg last Thursday. After 120 minutes, the score was tied at 3:0 (3:0, 1:0).

Until Monday evening, no team had ever been able to turn around a 0:3 deficit in the Bundesliga relegation. However, Philipp Hofmann (18th/66th minute) and former Dusseldorf player Kevin Stoger (70th minute, handball penalty) saved Bochum and forced the game into extra time. In the penalty shootout, nerves got the best of Dusseldorf. When Takashi Uchino missed for Fortuna, the decision was made.

Fortuna lose focus from the get go

Daniel Thioune’s Dusseldorf team, whose own nerves seemed to be their downfall after the clear result in the first leg, will have to make a fresh attempt in their fight to return to the German top division. The two-time cup winners last played in the top tier during the 2019/20 season.

Upon the start of the game by Deniz Aytekin, VfL willingly took on the role of the hunter without immediately taking full risk. However, it was Fortuna who had the first opportunity, with Ao Tanaka’s shot after just one minute being deflected out. Bochum then took control of the game, while the hosts relied on counterattacks through their first leg hero, Christos Tzolis.

At first, there was only a half-hearted shot from Stoger (7.) for the guests, but the first good opportunity for Bochum was taken. Stoger successfully targeted Hofmann’s head with a free kick.

It was evident that the Dusseldorf team had suddenly something to lose after their clear first game. Fortuna made numerous mistakes in passing in front of their own sixteen-meter box. Bochum’s confidence grew as they became increasingly dangerous, especially with set pieces.

In the first half, a free kick from Stoger narrowly missed the goal, followed by a late header from Keven Schlotterbeck also from a set piece. Lukas Daschner’s deflected shot was also close to finding the back of the net.

VfL achieves double strike after break

Following the break, the Bundesliga team continued to dominate the game and could have scored through the impressive Daschner. This was followed by a lot of frenzy and within four minutes, VfL scored two goals, giving them hope of securing their spot in the league. First, Hofmann (66.) headed in a goal, and then Stoger converted a penalty after Matthias Zimmermann was penalized for handball (70.).

Fortuna’s confidence was shaken as Bochum gained the upper hand. Florian Kastenmeier, the goalkeeper for Dusseldorf, prevented a 0:4 score with an impressive save in the 72nd minute. Neither team took major risks during the extra time, but in the penalty shootout, Bochum came out on top.

Penalty shootout proved too much for Dusseldorf

After a goal-less extra time, it was time for penalties. Paciencia scored first for Bochum. Hoffmann missed his penalty for Dusseldorf. Bero put more pressure on Dusseldorf after converting his penalty. Johanneson scored for Dusseldorf, while Masovic missed for Bochum.

It was all tied and the next penalties were all converted by Engelhardt, Oberdorf, Tziolis and Niemiec (Dusseldorf, and Asano, Stoger, Schlotterbeck and Wittek (Bochum).

It was Uchino’s turn for Fortuna and he missed which prompted huge celebration from Bochum in Dusseldorf, as they kept their place in Bundesliga for next season.

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