Fortuna Düsseldorf clearly beats Bochum

Fortuna Düsseldorf is well prepared for promotion back to the Bundesliga. Four years after being relegated in 2020, the seventh promotion to the upper echelons of German football is looming next Monday (8.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga relegation and on Sat.1 and Sky). After a hard-fought first half, VfL Bochum’s confident 3-0 win in the relegation first leg between the Bundesliga’s sixteenth-placed team and the second division’s third-placed team on Thursday evening did not offer anything in the second half that can be expected from a first division team.

Since the better first half was also counteracted by Philipp Hofmann’s own goal (13th minute), Bochum’s evening celebrations seemed dismal enough. After the change, only Düsseldorf played its offensive trump cards and was happy about a clear 3-0 win, underpinned by goals from Klaus (64th) and Engelhardt (72nd).

From the outset there was no mention of a class difference. The current form of the first league sixteenth place from Bochum seemed too weak after two recent crushing defeats (0:5 against champions Leverkusen, 1:4 in Bremen), and the working atmosphere at VfL seemed too unstable after the temporary suspension in Bremen During a game, regular goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, who was replaced by 37-year-old Andreas Luthe in the two most important games of the season with some insecurities, was initially released.

Instead, captain Anthony Losilla, a defender of his sacked keeper, initially sat on the bench, as it was said, “for sporting reasons”.

Unintentionally created the foundation

The third-placed team in the second division from Düsseldorf, free of personnel disputes, travelled from the Rhineland to the Ruhr region with full confidence after fourteen league games without defeat – full of trust in the best offense in the second division (72 goals), which faced the second weakest defense in the first division (74 goals conceded). “We have to show how incredibly cool we are at the moment and what a great team we have,” Fortuna coach Daniel Thioune had called for a continuation of the winning streak.

Bochum centre-forward Philipp Hofmann laid the foundation for this, unintentionally of course, when a corner kick from Fortuna’s artistic shooter and second division top scorer Christos Tzolis (22 goals this season) bounced off the post and hit his thigh, from where it was catapulted into his own goal.

What an unfortunate start for the Westphalians, who were unlucky a little later when Bernardo’s header from Kevin Stöger’s corner bounced off the post and onto the grass (15th minute). Fortuna then defended their somewhat lucky half-time lead in a fast-paced duel with great dedication against the more active VfL, who lacked a bit of coolness in front of the Düsseldorf goal under the watchful eye of Bayern international Leon Goretzka, who had matured into a football great at VfL Bochum.

A quality that has distinguished the Rhinelanders in this second division season. Against the increasingly confused Bochum team, Klaus took advantage of the opportunity to make it 2-0 when he coolly pushed a counterattack initiated by Tzolis into the goal in front of Luthe.

When the keeper let a free kick from the outstanding Tzolis bounce forward, Yannik Engelhardt was able to round off the scene with his winning goal to make it 3-0. The signs for resurgence were clearly visible.


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