VfL Bochum 1848 were forced to settle for a share of the spoils away at FC St. Pauli in their final away game of the season. It was a game of two goalkeepers, with Manu Riemann and his counterpart Robin Himmelmann both putting in brilliant displays for their respective sides. After a cagey first half, Dutt’s eleven dominated phases in the second and were unlucky not to steal the victory. Silvère Ganvoula had a golden opportunity late in the game, however Himmelmann was the man for the hosts. VfL sign off their campaign on the road with their 11th clean sheet of the season in front of 3,000 loyal traveling VfL supporters. 

As confirmed midweek, Sidney Sam returned to the starting eleven having resumed first team training this week. Similarly, Danilo Soares was back on the bench as both players recovered from their respective injures. The trip up to Hamburg came too early for Celozzi, who is still lacking match fitness. Jan Gyamerah and Maxim Leitsch also both missed out through their respective injuries. 

The hosts flew out of the traps and had the first chance of the game in the opening minute. Sami Allagui did well to control and fire off a shot at Riemann’s near post, however the ball crashed against the upright before Reimann recovered well to gather. The Boys in Brown tried their luck again ten minutes later, this time forcing a strong save from Riemann in the Bochum goal. Dimitrios Diamantakos did well to lose his man, however our 30-year-old stopper was on hand to tip the effort over the bar. 

After the first 20 minutes Robin Dutt’s men began to grow in to the game. Ganvoula went close with an effort from distance, and Sidney Sam later tested Himmelmann in the St Pauli goal. Sam, who was returning to the starting eleven from injury, whipped in a dangerous free kick which Himmelmann punched away to safety.  

It was a game of two goalkeepers, with Manu Riemann and Robin Himmelmann both putting in brilliant performances. Riemann had to be at his best again just before half time, this time to keep out Sami Allagui. Our number one stood up well, before getting down quickly to his right to keep the Tunisian striker at bay. 

VfL made the only change after half time, with last week’s matchwinner Tom Weilandt replacing Sidney Sam who is still gaining match fitness. The change saw Bochum create more chances going forward, yet Himmelmann was persistently made quality saves. The 30-year-old somehow managed to acrobatically pluck Lukas Hinterseer’s flicked effort out of the top corner and out to safety - an incredible save in front of the travelling Bochum fans.

Unfortunately for Dutt and VfL, the injury crisis is not yet over. Dominik Baumgartner and Chung-Yong Lee both had to make way due to respective knocks, with the duo picking up injuries during the second half. Milos Pantovic replaced Baumgartner, whereas Soares made a return to the squad for CYL. 

Dutt’s side kept on pressing and dominated chances in the second half at the Millerntor. Silvère Ganvoula arguably had the best chance of the game on the 76th minute, however Himmelmann was once again there to bravely block the shot with his body from close range. 

Both teams threw men forward in search of a dramatic victory, however both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils. VfL defended well in the first half and had Riemann to thank for keeping us in the game, however they may feel hard done by with just a point after dominating the second half. 

The Boys in Blue ended their 2018-19 campaign away from home with the club’s 11th clean sheet and a hard-earned point. Robin Dutt’s side now turn their attention to next week’s home game against Union Berlin, who will be chasing automatic promotion after beating 1. FC Magdeburg at home this gameweek. 

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