SSV Jahn Regensburg have now been a 2. Bundesliga side for three and a half years. The team from East Bavaria have managed to establish themselves as a second division side after only making two appearances (2003/04 and 2012/13) in the 2.Liga up to this point. It’s time to build on our sub-par record against SSV Jahn on Sunday – this is our LOOK AHEAD at that game!
Mersad Selimbegovic is the manager of SSV Jahn. The Bosnian has been in charge since the beginning of the 2019/20 season, but his history with the club goes back much further than that. In 2006, he joined Jahn as a defender, playing for six years before also starting his managerial journey with the side. He started as the assistant manager for the second team, before managing the U19 side. He made the step up to the first team in 2017 as assistant manager to Achim Beierlorzer. In the Summer of 2019, the 38-year-old secured his first managerial position, in charge of Jahn.
As already mentioned, SSV Jahn tend to present something of a banana skin for VfL, particularly since their return to the league in 2017. In the six games since then, only the first has gone in the Blue and Whites’ favour. The last three have all gone SSV’s way. This has included some bitter moments, including their 93rd minute equaliser in the 3-3 draw in October 2018.
THE BALANCE SHEET
Jahn have picked up 17 points through the first 14 games, and they sit in 14th place because of that. As is often the case in the 2. Liga, they are only six points off the relegation zone, but five from sixth place. Statistics nuts may notice a trend of regression in Regensburg. In their first season back in the division they finished fifth, before coming eighth the following season and 12th last season, now sitting in 14th. But that shouldn’t matter to us. After two months out, club captain Benedikt Gimber is back. SSV Jahn can also call on young, hungry stars like Max Besuschkow, Jan Elvedi or Kaan Calisker. Selimbegovic also has top-scorer Andreas Albers and summer signing Christoph Moritz at his disposal. One player that shouldn’t go unmentioned is Tom Baack. Although he only plays a backup role in Regensburg, he was born and bred in Bochum and has a possible loan deal in the pipeline.
VfL Bochum 1848 have extended the Festive Season for their fans by winning their away match with bogey team SSV Jahn Regensburg. Going into the interval with a goalless draw despite dominating the first half, Simon Zoller gave the visitors the lead on 80 minutes with super-sub Thomas Eisfeld doubling the lead with his first touch of the match just before the final whistle. The win takes VfL Bochum to second place in the league table just one point behind leaders Hamburger SV.
VfL Bochum started their first away match of the New Year in freezing temperatures but glaring sunshine with a largely unchanged starting XI, with only the suspended Cristian Gamboa replaced by Herbert Bockhorn. Tom Weilandt returned to the squad from injury and Paul Grave, goalie of our U19s, came in for the injured Patrick Drewes.
In a physical match, our Boys in Floodlight Blue had the better start with the majority of possession and a couple of corners in the opening quarter-hour. After 12 minutes, Bella Kotchap released Holtmann down the wing, who outran the defence but missed the right moment for finding Zoller. Next there were yellow cards shown to Blum for a foul on Weskesser and Stolze, who in turn pulled Zoller down in a tactical foul.
The 20 minute saw a great chance for VfL when, after some clever play from a corner Losilla passed the ball to Zulj who let fly from inside the right side of the box. His shot was blocked by Meyer with the rebound falling for Zoller who saw his effort blocked by the sprawling goalie.
Yellow card for Gimber after a rash tackle on Tesche after 24 minutes and three minutes later it was the speedy Holtmann again who this time rushed down the right wing but saw his right-footed shot go over the bar. VfL Bochum kept up the pressure by playing a high line and forced a corner on 36 minutes which found Maximilian Leitsch who couldn’t quite get behind the ball for his header. Two minutes later, Tesche invaded the box but could only find the outside of the goal net. Despite another chance for the diligent Holtmann, the first half ended 0-0 with Bochum clearly on the front foot.
SSV Regensburg returned with a more attacking line-up and tried to put more pressure on VfL Bochum now with Bockhorn immediately committing a foul on Besuschkow and contracting a yellow foul. The visitors had to do more defending but did not allow the hosts any clear-cut chances and in the 71 minute it was Holtmann once again who tore open the Regensburg defence with his acceleration but couldn’t find Zoller in the centre.
With the game seemingly moving towards a goalless draw, Thomas Reis introduced fresh legs into his attack by bringing on Pantović and Ganvoula in place of Blum and Holtmann after 74 minutes and it took Pantovic just six minutes to make an impression. The substitute, who had scored the winning goal last week, dribbled his way to the edge of the box and forced a foul by Elvedi with Žulj reacting instantly by playing a through ball to Zoller who slotted the ball home underneath goalie Meyer after 80 minutes – 1-0 to VfL Bochum!
VfL Bochum tried to run down the clock by introducing Mašović for Žulj and Eisfeld for Zoller now, but after the only mistake by the otherwise impeccable Bella Kotchap, Regensburg forward Becker was thwarted by Riemann. But this was not the final chord in an exciting match because it was super-sub Pantović again who drew another foul on the edge of the box. Up stepped the other sub, Thomas Eisfeld, to bend an absolute beauty over the wall with his first touch of the game – 2-0 to VfL Bochum!
The away win lifts VfL Bochum to second in the league before our home match versus 1. FC Nürnberg at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion next Saturday at 1:00 p.m..
Thomas Reis (manager VfL Bochum 1848): It wasn’t for the faint hearted today. We got into the game very well and had a number of good chances. Unfortunately, the last decisive pass was always missing. Nevertheless, we had a golden opportunity when Simon Zoller got on the ball. It was our failure that we weren’t able to convert our chances although we were clearly dominating the game in the first half. We knew that Regensburg were strong on the counterattacks, but we did a good job to defend these situations. In the second half, there was a bit of a break in our game. That was also because Regensburg changed their team tactics and fielded a couple of new players. A flash of inspiration than steered the game into the right direction. Taking the 90 minutes into account, it was a solid away performance, and we are happy to take the three points back to Bochum.
Mersad Selimbegović (manager SSV Jahn Regensburg): We didn’t play well in the first half and hardly got any second balls. Bochum put a lot of pressure on us. The best thing about the first half was that we didn’t concede a goal. We talked about these things at halftime and made some changes. We played much better in the following. It’s brutally hard to defend against Bochum because they are always looking for the quick and dangerous deep balls. Then we conceded a goal but kept on trying but weren’t able to take advantage of the mistakes our opponents made. In the end, the direct free kick made it even worse.
Herbert Bockhorn: We were eager to take something home today. In the end, it was a hard-fought victory. The 90 minutes feel like nothing because we won. I was a bit nervous at the beginning as it was my first time in the starting eleven, but that was over after a few minutes.
Simon Zoller: It’s extremely hard to play here in Regensburg. They are one of the most unpleasant teams in the league. Nevertheless, we deserved to win in the end. Robert often put his head up and looks what is happening around him. His idea with the quickly taken free kick worked and I’m glad I was able to score the 1-0. We are very pleased to take home the three points today.
Robert Zulj: It was a real 2nd Bundesliga match today with many fierce duels and a lot of fouls. It wasn’t the most attractive game, but especially in the first half, we had a couple of good chances where the precision or the positioning weren’t right. We wanted to improve that in the second half. After the break, we had one or two good opportunities. Thanks to an idea of mine, luckily, we were then able to take the lead. Then we played the game down with confidence.