Well, that’s fun! VfL Bochum 1848 celebrate their fifth victory in a row after beating 1. FC Nürnberg this Saturday afternoon. And again the lads would prove their mentality. The unexpected lead after a goal by Schäffler (29‘) was immediately levelled by Robert Zulj (31‘). After the changeover experienced player Robert Tesche sealed the deal. First with a wonder goal in the top corner (73‘), then with a volley shot after a freekick from Zulj (83‘). Dynamite performance!
It’s Bochum‘s final game of the first round, with the aim to score the fifth home victory in a row. Head coach Thomas Reis changed the starting line-up on one position. Cristian Gamboa returned after his yellow card suspension, his substitute Herbert Bockhorn moved forward to a winger position and therefore replaced Danny Blum. Moreover, youth pacher Luis Hartwig made his debut in the first team squad, as well as Saulo Decarli, who returned to the squad from a long term injury. Nürnberg coach Robert Klauß sent on the same first eleven fort he third time now.
That’s how the game went:
1‘: 15 seconds played, Manuel Schäffler fires the ball into the fence. The ball went wide, but a first warning from FCN.
3‘: VfL’s first effort. After getting possession at the own box things go really fast, Robert Zulj with a through ball to Simon Zoller. Keeper Christian Mathenia is wide awake and grabs the ball.
7‘: After a brash start from the visitors VfL managed to put everything under control. Bockhorn breaks through on the left, but his powerful cross is too sharp.
10‘: Best chance so far. Again Bockhorn makes his way over the left side, his low ball into the area finally reaches Gerrit Holtmann. But his deflected shot misses the target.
13‘: A little blunder by Maxim Leitsch that almost brings Harpeet Singh into play. But Leitschi is able to smooth away the difficulties.
16‘: The early attacking is rewarded and Zulj gets into a good position. He tries his luck, but his shot is cleared for a corner kick. It’s like pinball in the box with no-one being able to score.
20‘: Massive chance for Holtmann who receives a great assist from Tesche. He outplays Tim Handwerker and targets the far corner – but he misses by a whisker.
27‘: After quite some time it’s „the Club“ again. Robin Hack sets up for Manuel Schäffler, whose shot goes far beyond the post bar.
29‘: Goal for Nürnberg – 0-1. A bitter goal against VfL. Tesche is being fouled, but unfortunately referee Guido Winkmann does not make any move to whistle. FCN complete their counter attack when Schäffler finally finds the back of the net.
31‘: GOOOAL for VfL – 1-1. Immediately the well-deserved equaliser. The first cross is cleared by a header, Gamboa converts the rebound and nods the ball to Zulj, who fires it straight into the far corner! No chance for keeper Mathenia. That was important!
36‘: Horrible turnover for Nürnberg, Zoller steals the ball and switches into attack. The striker forwards to Bockhorn, who sidesteps instead of shooting. So the opposing players can defend and clear for a corner kick.
38‘. Bockhorn and Bockhorn again, who’s still seeking for a successful effort. But his daisy cutter misses both Zoller and the target.
40‘: Hack’s freekick from a long distance is easily saved by Riemann. Not today!
40‘: Again Tesche is fouled, but again no reaction from the referee. Gamboa stops the fast break and receives the first yellow card in this match.
44‘: This is crazy. Singh clearly hits Losilla’s anchle. No card at all, unbelievable. There’s actually no clear-cut course.
Halftime: A decent performance by VfL, often making the wrong decisions in the final third or playing it too complicated. Nürnberg is defending properly and took the lead, before Zulj immediately managed to equalise. The fifth home win of the season is still possible, but only when the lads can keep concentrated.
46‘: No substitutions on either side.
56‘: Holtmann dribbles towards the goal, but his attempt only ends in for corner kick.
57‘: Dangerous situation. After a fast break Singh is finds himself unchallenged to head home, but this one wasn’t easy to convert.
60‘: Again a strong accelaration from Holtmann who passes to Zulj hat. His shot on the volley is not powerful enough and therefore no problem for Mathenia to save.
65‘: Clear-cut chance for Schäffler after a fatal blunder by Bella-Kotchap. Hack speeds, Schäffler is completely unchallenged, but puts the ball wide from very short range.
67‘: First substitution for the visiting side. Singh, who could have also been sent of by that time, is replaced by Fabian Schleusener.
68‘: Schäffler tries to nod home, but fails from around eleven metres. Currently the visitors are in their best stage of the match, VfL performing a little too sloppy.
73‘: GOOOAL for VfL – 2-1. WONDERGOAL BY TESCHE! Zuljs cross is a little too long, Soares catches the ball and passes to Tesche, who powerfully hammers the ball into the goal. What a goal! Game turned araound!
76‘: Schleusener has a good chance by head. Nice one, but straight onto the keeper.
79‘: Substitutions for both teams. Holtmann is groggy and therefore replaced by Milos Pantovic. FCN head coach Klauß fields Zrelak for a stronger attacking play – Krauß leaves the pitch.
82‘: Freekick by Zulj, Zoller forwards the ball to Tesche. But his shooting position was not proper enough to score a brace.
83‘: GOOOAL for VfL – 3-1. Like a copy of the situation one minute ago, this time Tesche is on the right spot to score! This must be the decision! Robert, you’re hot stuff!
87‘: Another substitution. Silvère Ganvoula replaces Zolli in the final minutes, Nürnbergs Hack and Nürnberger are out, Hanno Behrens and Nikola Dovedan are in.
89‘: Geis is too late and hits Bockhorn. That’s a yellow card.
90‘: A final double subsitution: Thomas Eisfeld and Erhan Masovic – prolific scorer Tesche and Bockhorn can knock-off.
Final whistle: That was close as the visitors recorded some clear-cut goalscoring chances and dangerous fast breaks. At last VfL showed their comeback qualities and did not let it get to themselves during Nürnberg’s strong stages. In the final minutes the home side were eager to win and scored three well-deserved points – and are – at least – temporarily on top oft he table. For the final match of the first half of the campagin the lads will be travelling to Sandhausen.
Thomas Reis (manager VfL Bochum 1848): We played well today. In the first few minutes, I think we were lacking a bit in tension. In the following, we managed it relatively well. We knew that Nürnberg have strong individual players in their squad. We tried to avoid holding the ball for too long in midfield, but unfortunately this didn’t work out well once or twice and this is also how we then conceded the goal. I really can’t say if it was a foul play against Robert in the run-up to the goal as I didn’t see it. But at the moment we always have the strength and believe to come back after setbacks like this. It was massively important to score the equaliser quickly. In the second half, it was a physical game in which you always had the feeling that both teams would have the chance to score. We also had the necessary luck that Armel’s mistake wasn’t punished. And Robert Tesche experiences a second spring these days. It was sensational how he scored the 2-1 with his weaker left foot. The he also reacted quickly on the free kick. We’re incredibly happy that we keep riding the wave of success. But it was a tough nut to crack today although I think our success is well-deserved after 90 minutes – anyway the match could have easily gone in both directions. That’s why always should keep our feet on the ground and stay focused. This league tight and the slightest mistake can be punished immediately. We’re satisfied to keep the three points in Bochum and to be able to enjoy the day tomorrow.
Robert Klauß (manager 1. FC Nürnberg): Congratulations to Bochum on the home win. Overall, the win for VfL was deserved. We saw two different halves. I wasn’t satisfied with the first one. Even though it ended 1-1, there were couple of things to improve. We had some good phases in the second half und until the second goal we were in the game. We kept the game at eye level and had our chances to equalised – we even had to make it 2-1. After that you could witness the big quality Bochum have in their squad and we conceded the third goal after a set-piece. So, the defeat is well-deserved in the end. We knew that Bochum’s vertical play is dangerous and that they are fighting for the second balls. We wanted to prevent that, but we didn’t manage it over 90 minutes. We played physically and were on eye level in several areas, but you have to win the direct duels against a strong team like Bochum if you want to gain one or more points. Because we lost exactly those decisive duels before the goals, we lost the entire game in the end.
Robert Zulj (VfL Bochum 1848): I think we lost too many balls ball too easily in the first half and therefor invited Nürnberg to counterattack. We should have made the game broader more often and use our wingers to carry the ball upfront. When we did, dangerous situations evolved in front of goal. We had a bit of luck that Schäffler didn’t convert his chance in the second half. After that you could see that we have a lot of self-confidence as a team and know that we can always go the extra mile. That’s what makes us stand out as a team right now.
Milos Pantovic (VfL Bochum 1848): I think it was important to end the first half of the season with a win on home soil. Now there is one more game to go away from home. We knew what was coming today. Nürnberg have much individual quality in their team and we knew that it would get dangerous if they get the chance to attack. We defended well for the most part, even though it was an open game. It was clear that it wasn’t going to be easy. Then we did what makes us this strong in the recent weeks: we kept on playing and pushing for the win. Also, we as substitutes fitted in seamlessly. We have to continue like that without taking one step less.
Robert Tesche (VfL Bochum 1848): It was a tough game today. In the end we were the dominating team and created more chances to score. That’s why we deserved to win today. We were able to hit back immediately after the 1-0 which was of course very important. We can come back after setbacks, and we showed that again today. We want to win every game. That this might not work out is clear. But we want to stay up there as long as possible and I’m more than happy that I was able to help the team with my two goals.
Manuel Riemann (VfL Bochum 1848): Actually, there was one dominating team today. The chances that Nürnberg had, we presented to them ourselves. For example, when we conceded the goal. This league is very balanced. You don’t get anything for free, as you can see from week to week. At the moment, it’s working very well for us, and we’re happy to take it. The season isn’t even half over and so much can still happen. We’d do well to keep looking from game to game.