What an end to the year for everybody in Blue-and-White! Three days before Christmas VfL Bochum 1848 beat 1.FC Köln at Cologne by 3-2 in only the second away victory over FC in our club history. Lukas Hinterseer gave Robin Dutt’s team an early lead with Bundesliga 2 top scorer Simon Terodde equalising before the break. In the second half, Hinterseer and Sidney Sam gave the Boys in Blue a two-goal lead, with Risse’s goal no more than a consolation. Only the 5,000 travelling fans from Bochum in the crowd of 50,000 had reason to celebrate when the final whistle went.

What an atmosphere at the Cologne Rhein-Energie-Stadion for their last home game of the year versus VfL Bochum. The Boys in Blue were looking to stop the rot of three matches without a win to take them within reaching distance of the promotion ranks with an unchanged starting XI but Silvère Ganvoula and Robbie Kruse retuning to squad from injuries.

The last match on Cologne soil had ended in a 3-1 to the hosts who consequently won promotion to the top flight in April 2014. In their first encounter on match day 1 of the current season, VfL lost 2-0 to Cologne despite a more than decent team performance. On top of all this, 1. FC Köln had won their last five matches amassing 21-2 goals. All this did not bode well for the visitors from Bochum despite Marco Höger’s suspension and coach Markus Anfang introducing Salih Özcan and Jannes Horn into his starting eleven

VfL head coach Robin Dutt had declared his intention to give promotion favourites 1. FC Köln a proper run for their money and his team obliged after less than a minute from centre-back Czichos’ blunder when Hinterseer was clean through and smashed the ball past goalkeeper Timo Horn. Just two minutes later, Sidney Sam had a chance but hit the ball straight at Horn.

In a lively opening spell, Cologne had their first chance after a cross from the left by Jannis Horn was headed down by former Bochum boy Simon Terodde for Jhon Cordoba whose shot flew wide. The game stayed intense with Bochum stifling Köln’s attacks and waiting for opportunities to break away without really making it into the hosts’ box.
After a good fifteen minutes, Marcel Risse hit a dangerous free-kick, but Manuel Riemann dealt with the shot safely. Two minutes later, Hinterseer was shown the first yellow card of the match for sliding into Özcan. The same happened to Cordoba on 20 minutes, for bringing down Robert Tesche in midfield. By now, despite the hosts enjoying most of the possession, the Boys in Blue had made it clear that they were not willing to surrender the points with veteran centre-half Patrick Fabian leading by example and winning the ball again and again.

Then, out of nowhere, came the equaliser when Danilo Soares played a horrendous back pass for Terodde to intercept and shoot on the turn. Riemann was caught well off his line and could only watch the ball cross the line in minute 25. Just three minutes later, Chung Yong Lee’s wide cross found Jan Gyamerah who hit the ball on the bounce but could only hit the outside netting from an acute angle before collecting a yellow card another three minutes on.

The game turned scruffy and physical now with Risse being shown a yellow for a tactical foul on Sam on 32 minutes and numerous hearty challenges on both sides. VfL Bochum created another half-chance after 42 minutes with Hinterseer releasing Sam on the right wing but Weilandt unable to connect with the resulting cross. After an intense first half with few clear-cut opportunities both teams had to settle for a deserved draw.

Both teams returned from the changing rooms unchanged, with Lee’s header and Drexler’s shot too tame to really threaten within the first three minutes. FC Köln now cranked up the pressure with Hector and Öczan having half-chances. Both sides put in the challenges but it was Losilla who was shown another yellow card for a tackle on Cordoba on 55 minutes.

In the 58 minutes, VfL took advantage of a free-kick left of the FC box by finding Sam who instantly floated the ball towards the penalty spot. Hinterseer managed to lose his marker to make contact with the leather and steer it past a helpless Timo Horn for his eleventh goal of the season. 2-1 to the visitors!

Shortly afterwards. it was the end of his shift for Lee, who made way to Robbie Kruse on 59 minutes. FC-coach Anfang reacted by bringing on attacker Louis Schaub for Jannes Horn after 64 minutes. Next, Cordoba tried to blast home from distance but only managed to hit the safety fence behind Riemann's goal against a Bochum defence still doing a fabulous. In the 69 minute, Terodde found himself unmarked but his header was easily saved by Riemann in spectacular style.

In the same minute, the Cologne defence, apparently already in a festive mood, offered the Bochum attackers a gift on a silver plate. Özcan played a disastrous cross pass into the feet of Sam, who picked up speed and pulled into the box, leaving Timo Horn no chance with a crisp shot into the bottom left corner. The FC coach threw on Serhou Guirassy for Benno Schmitz two minutes later and German international Jonas Hector collected another yellow for a tactical foul on Kruse after 75minutes.

The final quarter of an hour became an extremely tense affair after Tesche had lost the ball in midfield for Risse and Schaub to link up and Risse to let fly from the right outside edge of the penalty box. His shot flew past several defenders and goalkeeper Riemann to find the far corner of the Bochum goal in the 76 minute. Two minutes later, Kruse had a chance down the other end but could not get the ball past Horn just like Terodde for FC Köln, with the former Bochum boy sparing his former teammates from close range.

Dutt sent on Celozzi instead of Weilandt to shore up the defence on 83 minutes. One minute later, Hoogland collected his fifth yellow card of the season for a foul on Schaub. In the 87 minute, Dutt decided to run down the clock by replacing the strong Sidney Sam with Ganvoula while FC Köln now threw everything and the sink at Bochum with Guirassy trying a spectacular but ultimately harmless bicycle kick. Four minutes of added time seemed an eternity but then the 5,000 in Blue-and-White had reason to celebrate an impressive away win. On 27 points, VfL Bochum moved up into seventh position for the time being before resuming league duties at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on 29 January in what promises to be a thrilling local derby versus MSV Duisburg.