Saved despite final defeat
Bochum have suffered a 1-2 defeat against Union Berlin in the final match of the season. Bochum had been dominating the encounter but they conceded two goals within six minutes just after halftime. Özbek scored the first goal for Berlin and Skrzybski made it 2-0. Kramer pulled one back for Bochum but it just wasn’t enough.
Beautiful sunshine and a fantastic atmosphere set the scene for Bochum’s final match of a turbulent season. Peter Neururer had made three changes to his team. Michael Esser replaced Andi Luthe in goal, Faton Toski and Alexander Iashvili replaced Marc Rzatkowski and Michael Delura. The match started at a very slow pace. Iashvili tried his feet on a volley but fired it into the sky above the Berlin goal. Both teams needed some time to get settled.
Berlin finally had the first proper opportunity to score. Nemec got his head on a cross and Esser had to stretch and make a tremendous save. It was the only unsettling event in a very shallow first twenty minutes. Bochum looked in charge but they were lacking precision in their passing game. It was again Iashvili who managed to get the ball on the Berlin goal after a corner. But a Berlin defender got his leg into his shot just on time. Tasaka had another decent opportunity. Dedic got a touch inside the area, turned around the defender and set up the Japanese. Yet, Tasaka failed to put the ball into a deserted Berlin goal. It might have given the match some drive.
Tasaka continued to look for wholes in a very tight-knit Berlin defence. Toski was eventually the one to take a heart. He got a touch to the ball after Goretzka and Dedic had been playing a one-two. The 26-year-old struck a hammer but it just avoided the woodwork. Bochum would have deserved the lead but they did not take it.
After halftime, Tasaka was the first to test Berlin goal keeper Haas with a shot from 20 yards. Unfortunately, the ball found the back of the net on the other side of the pitch. Özbek headed home from a corner to secure the lead for Berlin. It was surprising and somewhat undeserved. The Bochum players responded furiously. Iashvili was denied by Haas and Kramer set up Toski who just could not missed the ball. Things got really bad, when Berlin showed to be cold-blooded. Özbek played a through ball for Skrzybski. Skrzybski left Esser no chance and made it 2-0. And things might have turned from bad to worse, when Mattuschka chipped the ball from 29 yards and hit the bottom of the crossbar. Esser just about grabbed the ball on the second try.
Berlin had turned the game around in the course of six minutes. Neururer reacted bringing on Gelashivili for Toski to strengthen the attack. Bochum desperately wanted to pull one back. Yet, the match was slowed down due to a number of injuries. Tasaka underwent treatment and Berlin player Jopek twisted his knee. Bochum’s performance was a complete patchwork at this point.
Christoph Kramer eventually took heart. He made a fake to avoid his defender and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Bochum pulled one back and Bochum had faith again. Tasaka was unlucky not to score from a set piece. But Berlin continued to be dangerous on the counter attack. Quiring fired wide off the left post. Skrzybski turned up free in front of Esser but our goal keeper denied him. Bochum failed to keep up the pressure in the final minutes. Consequently, they lost their final match of the season. But they stayed up and that is all that counts.