It’s the last fixture of a week for VfL. After success against Mainz, VfL will 1. FC Cologne for Saturday night’s crunch encounter. Let’s LOOK AHEAD to 1 FC Cologne:
Cologne have enjoyed a stunning season so far. Even their recent elimination in the DFB-Pokal might not baffle themselves. After a late goal by Modeste, they reached the penalty shootout against Hamburg. But probably one of the oddest penalties in the last years sealed their defeat. Florian Kainz slipped and fell and hit the ball against his standing leg. Although the ball went in, the goal did not count due to two touches of the ball. Despite that loss Modeste, and his team mates are playing a great season, as already mentioned. The striker has scored 12 goals up to now, nine by header. In the winter break Cologne have re-arranged their defence as Rafael Czichos was transferred to MLS club Chicago Fire, Jorge Meré joined Mexican side CF America and Noah Katterbach signed for Swiss club FC Basel on loan. Speaking of defence: Lately Baumgart has nominated Marvin Schwäbe as first-choice goalkeeper. Old hand Timo Horn initially finds himself on the subs bench.
THE HEAD COACH
Steffen Baumgart took over as a head coach at 1 FC Cologne at the beginning of this season. 9th spot in the table and an average of 1.55 points are quite remarkable, with only a three point deficit behind third placed. According to this Baumgart‘s review of the past six months turns out really positive: “The team has a completely different face than half a year ago. Many positive things have happened. I’ll never be fully satisfied, but you won’t see me unsatisfied”, says Baumgart proudly. The 50-years-old‘s coaching career got going during his time in Paderborn, where he worked for four years.
There have been 72 fixtures between VfL Bochum and FC Cologne so far. The record is in favour of the ‘Billy Goats’, who count 42 victories, at least VfL won 14 matches. Bochum’s last Bundesliga success goes back to April 2004, when the lads racked up a 2-1 away win in Cologne. After Dariusz Wosz put VfL in front, Lukas Podolski managed to equalise before Frank Fahrenhorst finally scored the winner. The lads even were able to win the first leg game as well. Reaching the fifth spot in the table on final matchday VfL qualified for the international competition.
Another game under the floodlights at ‘anne Castroper’, another point in the bank for VfL Bochum 1848 after a 2-2 draw against 1. FC Cologne. In an impressive opening spell, Gerrit Holtmann scored a great goal for the hosts, with Hübers and Modeste giving the visitors the lead. But Thomas Reis’ team dug in and were rewarded by Takuma Asano’s first goal in Blue-and-White.
After reaching the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal in a spectacular 3-1 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05, VfL Bochum had their next home game at ‘anne Castroper’ just three days later. For our third match within a week, VfL Bochum head coach Thomas Reis stuck with new addition Jürgen Locadia up front and brought in Stafylidis and Löwen to replace Gamboa and Osterhage for the home match against 1.FC Cologne. Cologne head coach Baumgart brought back top scorer Anthony Modeste compared to their midweek cup match.
VfL Bochum started on the offensive straight away with Locadia linking up with Pantovic and the latter passing to Rexhbecaj who was blocked on the by-line and could not get his cross in. After six minutes, the ball got to Pantovic in the box, his shot was blocked but the rebound was hit by Rexhbecaj – over the bar.
VfL Bochum were clearly in the driving seat, and it took the visitors from Cologne 11 minutes to threaten from their first corner when Kilian rose to the ball but had his effort saved by Riemann. From Riemann’s distribution, it took Kilian just seconds to scythe Rexhbecaj down, but he was fortunate to escape a yellow card.
In the 16th minute, Holtmann set off on one of his trademark dribbles before setting up Löwen whose shot went wide. Just one minute later, Locadia released Holtmann whose right-footed shot was blocked by goalkeeper Schwäbe.
Bochum increasingly employed their speed up front with 1.FC Cologne having to resort to fouls in midfield to intercept the hosts’ attacks with Schmitz getting away with a bad tackle on Soares. In the 22nd minute Holtmann and Löwen played a one-two but were stopped inside the Cologne box.
Just 60 seconds later, the visitors seemed certain to take a surprise lead when Leitsch lost his footing, the ball reached Modeste but the forward saw his shot rise over the bar.
In the 25th minute, Locadia collected a long ball, wrong-footed two defenders and played a ball towards the right wing where Holtmann left his marker standing before nutmegging the goalkeeper with his weaker right foot – the deserved lead for VfL Bochum.
The Boys in Floodlight Blue were in charge now and after 33 minutes, Locadia got the ball inside the box and was close to doubling our lead. Instead, VfL Bochum failed to clear from a corner and in the ensuing melee, Hübers poked the ball into the net – an equaliser out of nothing.
In the 41st minute, Locadia did well to stay on the ball before curling a shot from the edge of the box, only for Schwäbe to punch it away. The ensuing corner resulted in a fast break with two Bochum defenders facing three attackers, but Soares’ excellent intervention broke up the counter-attack.
Seconds before the interval, FC Cologne intercepted a sloppy pass in midfield a long ball found Modeste who controlled the ball with his first touch before lobbing it over Riemann into the net from 20 yards.
Both teams returned unchanged and it was only seconds before the ball found Hector in the box but his shot from the left went wide of the far post. VfL Bochum found their composure and put pressure on the Cologne defence and after 53 minutes this seemed certain to pay dividends when Schwäbe could only palm away Holtmann’s curling effort as far as Pantovic who kept his cool before teeing the ball up for Löwen eight yards in front of goal, but our midfielder just could not keep his shot down.
After 56 minutes Locadia had to limp off and was replaced by Sebastian Polter. Four minutes later, the first yellow card of the match was shown to Hector for a foul on Rexhbecaj.
In the 65th minute, Soares with a great assist for Polter whose shot rose over the bar with Gamboa and Asano replacing Stafylidis and Pantovic immediately after. Three minutes later, Bella Kotchap forced his way through midfield and his shot from 25 yards went narrowly over the bar.
In the 70th minute, a long throw by Gamboa found Polter inside the box who pulled the ball back before leaving it to the approaching Takuma Asano who struck a low shot into the bottom left corner for his first goal in a Floodlight-Blue jersey – 2-2!
Both teams were pushing for the winner now with Modeste chasing a through ball in the 76th minute but Bella Kotchap and Leitsch managing to stop him. Thomas Reis sent on Antwi-Adjei and Osterhage in place of Holtmann and Rexhbecaj.
After 84 minutes, Polter teed up for Osterhage who throw himself at the ball but his effort was blocked by Schwäbe. A minute later, Antwi-Adjei was clean through on the right wing but brought down by Jannes Horn just outside the box for a free-kick and a more than justified yellow card.
Despite four minutes of added time, the match stayed 2-2, which takes VfL Bochum to 24 points before the international break. On Friday, 4th February, 8:30pm (CET), VfL Bochum will play Hertha BSC at the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
Thomas Reis (head coach VfL Bochum 1848): Steffen Baumgart said he was satisfied with the point. I'm a little dissatisfied with the point because we left a few good chances begging in the second half. In terms of how the game went, of course we have to, and can, live with the point. We were shocked by the two goals we conceded before the break. But we came out of half-time well and the team did a good job. We would have liked to have the three points, but I think it was a very, very interesting game.
Steffen Baumgart (head coach 1. FC Köln): We are happy with the point. After falling behind, we came back well and turned the game around before the break. Then in the second half, we didn't manage to score the third goal. So, we ran the risk of conceding the equaliser - and that's what we got. It was a very, very intense game from both sides. We played to win, but we're happy to take the point.
Anthony Losilla: We started the game relatively well and created a lot of chances straight away. Then we also took the lead. The goal we conceded after the corner was unfortunate and conceding the second just before the break hurt. Before that, we had allowed little. But we discussed that we could turn the game around again with our energy. With a little more luck, we could have made it 3-2, but we can live with the point.
Eduard Löwen: We had to invest a lot and conceded two goals more or less out of nothing. Cologne didn't have many scoring chances. We came back well with our second goal, but I think there was more in it today and we could have won the game. We played aggressively and gave everything.
Gerrit Holtmann: We played a really good game and were behind due to our own mistakes. It wasn't enough to win the big game, but we're happy to take the point. You can see our development, that's the most important thing. Two teams played against each other that live on passion and intensity. We have to bring that to the pitch in every game.
Takuma Asano: It was a very important game for us. We wanted to win, but we still like to take the point. I'm very proud to have scored my first Bundesliga goal for VfL. We still have to work on our efficiency. We created a lot of chances, but we have to take more.
Jürgen Locadia: We're happy about the point, but we could have won the game. Especially in the first half, we created many scoring chances and should have scored more. We must continue to work as hard as we did today and remain defensively stable to achieve our goal. I feel very comfortable at VfL and hope that I can score my first Bundesliga goal for Bochum soon.