The international break is over. Whilst VfL Bochum 1848 have had a couple of weeks off, our visitors have had an even longer break. After a few positive Coronavirus tests, Holstein Kiel have missed the last two Matchdays. This is our LOOK AHEAD at #BOCKSV:
Despite being the youngest Head Coach in German professional football at 32 years old, Ole Werner has been achieving well above his years. He played for Kiel in his younger days and gained experience coaching the second team before he made the step up to the first team in 2019. In his first full season in charge he‘s set Kiel up well for a promotion push and they hold a place in the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal.
The few competitive matches that there have been between these two sides have tended to go Kiel‘s way. There have been seven league games between the two sides since Kiel‘s promotion in 2017. The only Bochum win was last season, when Jordi Osei-Tutu and Silvere Ganvoula contributed to a 2-1 win at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion. Four of the games have gone Kiel‘s way, including their 3-1 win earlier this season.
Holstein Kiel come into this game five points behind Bochum, but with two games in hand. They missed games against Hannover and Heidenheim after their positive Corona tests but are still very much in the promotion conversation. With five wins, two draws and just one loss they come into this game in good form.
What a clash at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion where VfL Bochum 1848 overcame Holstein Kiel to confirm their top spot in the league table. Simon Zoller scored after five and 60 minutes for the Boys in (Floodlight) Blue but despite the visitors coming back into the match thanks to a soft penalty, VfL survived a nervous final 15 minutes to bag an important and deserved three points.
In the top-of-the-table clash on match day 27, VfL Bochum hosted pursuers Holstein Kiel, lying in fourth place just five points behind VfL but with two games in hand, with the team from the far North returning from two-match quarantine. With Danilo Soares suspended, Herbert Bockhorn defended on the left for Miloš Pantović to take the latter one’s place on the right wing.
In the 5 minute, Bockhorn, Holtmann and Zulj linked up for Zoller to score, but our striker was clearly offside. It took him not even a minute to set the record straight originating from some great pressing in midfield for Zulj to tuck a neat pass into the path of Pantovic who kept his head under pressure and teed up for Zoller who coolly slotted home from six yards- great goal!
VfL kept up the pressure and on 8 minutes Holtmann hit a low cross from the left to Zulj who saw his effort blocked by Wahl’s desperate lunge. In the 17 minute, Zulj’s curling corner-kick required a great save from Gelios.
It took the visitors 21 minutes and a bit of help from Zulj to threaten the Bochum goal. Our playmaker overhit his back pass and forced Tesche into a late tackle against Lee which resulted in a free-kick and a yellow card. Mühling’s long ball from outside-left found Lee who tried a flying volley with the outside of his left foot and saw Riemann collect the ball with ease.
All in all, VfL Bochum were clearly in the driver’s seat due to them winning the majority of midfield duels, a prime example coming on 26 minutes when Reese seemed to be clean through on the break only to be overtaken on the inside and robbed of the ball by the once more excellent Gamboa.
Even the Bochum defenders got involved in the build-up with Leitsch going forward on 30 minutes, beating a couple of opponents and letting fly for Gelios to make a good save. Three minutes later, Pantovic and Zoller linked up nicely with the former eventually steering the ball towards goal and forcing a great reaction by Gelios.
The 39 minute saw the best chance for the visitors so far when Reese received the ball in what looked like an off-side position and his shot from an acute angle forced a fingertip save from Riemann – that would have stood. Three minutes before the interval, VfL Bochum came close again with Pantovic dribbling into the box from the left and, under pressure, managing a shot that was blocked but missing the chance to find the unmarked Zoller near the penalty spot.
Both teams returned unchanged after the break with VfL Bochum still enjoying most of the possession, so Kiel coach Ole Werner sent on fresh attacking legs in the shape of Porath and Mees for Reese and Hauptmann.
The new subs had not touched the ball yet when Zoller and Pantovic excellently pressed against former Bochum boy Lorenz to gain possession on the edge of the box and for Zoller to hit the net with the outside of his right foot in the 60 minute.
Kiel opened up now and Holtmann almost benefited from this by breaking away five minutes after the goal, but his shot went narrowly wide of the far post. Down the other end, Kiel played a great cross from the right wing with Lee getting on the end of it but fortunately not controlling his touch and steering the ball wide just a minute later.
More substitutions with Dehm replacing Neumann for Kiel and Novothny coming on for Pantovic and, out of the blue, Holstein Kiel were back in the game when a high cross hit Leitsch’s hand and the ref awarded a penalty. Mühling made no mistake and sent Riemann the wrong way for his eleventh successive penalty goal.
The goal revived the visitors who were now throwing everything and the kitchen sink at VfL Bochum with Mees receiving the ball inside the box and hitting a forceful shot just wide of the post on 83 minutes.
VfL coach Thomas Reis now sent on Bonga instead of an exhausted man of the match Simon Zoller and Eisfeld for Holtmann as well as the visitors replacing Mühling and Meffert with Girth and Arslan.
In the 90 minute, Zulj was shown his fifth yellow card of the season for a foul on Lee and will be ruled out for our next match. The match was far from over and the visitors had two more chances in added time when a breakdown in communication between Bella Kotchap and Riemann almost gifted Girth the ball only for Riemann to dive at his feet and retrieve it, and it was the keeper again who sealed the three points with a good save from a bombshell that was fortunately directed straight at him in the 94 minute.
The win will keep VfL Bochum at the top of the table irrespective of the results of the other teams before travelling to SC Paderborn 07 for a Westphalian derby next Saturday 1:00 pm.
Thomas Reis (manager VfL Bochum 1848): Of course, I’m absolutely not satisfied with the final ten minutes. We dominated the match for 80 minutes, even though Kiel had their chances. Even with the early offside goal, you could see that the team was willing to press early. For Kiel, it wasn’t an easy situation to be back on the pitch after four weeks without a competitive match. We wanted to take advantage of that, and it worked out quite well. We played too difficult following the 2-0. We must not invite our opponents and almost let the game slip away. We can be glad to have secured all three points today. That’s positive of course but there are also a couple of things we’ll need to talk about.
Ole Werner (manager Holstein Kiel): In the final stages of the game, it was an open and very tight game, which certainly wasn’t the case in the first half. We didn’t start well and had some structural difficulties. We also lacked on physical presence. That took a while. We made many things better in the second half but then conceded another goal due to losing the ball after a mistake in the build-up. With great morale, we kept it tight and that’s the positive note we can take away today.
Miloš Pantović (VfL Bochum 1848): It was a massively important win today. We started very well and gained the lead. We perhaps were a bit unlucky with two or three chances to extend our lead. It was a more open game in the second half and that it became this close in the end is nothing special when the league leaders play against the fourth in the table. I’m happy that we’re still up there and gained the three points today.
Anthony Losilla (VfL Bochum 1848): I think that we were in control of the game almost the entire 90 minutes. We performed very well right from the start and attacked early. Until the penalty kick – where we should have cleared the situation way earlier but tried to play too difficultly. Then it’s simply part of the game that you have to fight for the win until the final whistle. But we have won the match against one of our direct rivals. That feels good!
Simon Zoller (VfL Bochum 1848): I already put one or two beers in the cooler this morning. Of course, the match went the way you imagine it would. It was a tough fight today, but in the end, Kiel had hardly a good chance upfront. We made it tense again in the end, but we deservedly won. We controlled the match for most of the time and had the better chances. So, we can be very satisfied.
Herbert Bockhorn (VfL Bochum 1848): Of course, we knew about Kiel’s difficult last weeks but in the end, it’s none of our business. We started very well and were in control. It was not before the 2-1 that we had a couple of difficulties – we must not let them get back into the game like this. They sensed their chance and created a couple of chances. In the end, our win is well-deserved.