Bochum pulled four points clear of the relegation zone after beating Hoffenheim 2-0 on Saturday in a game in which goalkeeper Manuel Riemann missed a penalty and Milos Pantovic scored from inside his own half.
Having won three of their previous five Bundesliga matches at kick-off, Hoffenheim justifiably began on the front foot as they looked for an early advantage. The first chance didn’t arrive until the 16th minute, though, when the ball was worked to Andrej Kramaric following a swift break, but his curling left-footed effort from the edge of the box flew narrowly over. The Croatian turned provider moments later, sliding a brilliant pass into the path of Ihlas Bebou, who went one-one-one with Riemann but could only dink his shot onto the roof of the net. Florian Grillitsch then sent a probing drive from distance off target, but Hoffenheim’s pressure began to wane the longer the match went on, allowing Danny Blum a glimpse of goal at the opposite end as he surged away from Stefan Posch, only to slice well wide.
Bochum were more aggressive after the break, winning almost 60 per cent of all on-field duels, but the best opportunity again fell to Hoffenheim when Grillitsch was allowed to line up another long-range strike, but this time Riemann pulled off a superb fingertip save. His opposite number Oliver Baumann produced an equally impressive stop just after the hour mark, leaping full stretch to keep out Eduard Löwen’s thundering free-kick that seemed destined for the top corner. There was nothing the Hoffenheim custodian could do to prevent the hosts taking the lead, though, as substitutes Pantovic and Soma Novothny linked up just seconds after coming on, the former teeing up the latter to head in from close range. Bochum could have put the game to bed in the closing stages, but Riemann – yes, the team’s goalkeeper – blazed a penalty over the bar following a foul on Pantovic. It was ultimately of no consequence, though, as Pantovic put the seal on a memorable game with a stoppage-time strike from inside his own half, firing into an empty net after Baumann had gone up for a corner in search of a late equaliser.
- Novothny scored his first Bundesliga goal with his first shot on goal in just his third outing in Germany's top flight.
- Bochum goalkeeper Riemann has now kept clean sheets in four out of five home games this season, and kept a league-high five overall.
- Riemann took - and missed - the first penalty of his Bundesliga career.
- The last time a goalkeeper took a penalty in the Bundesliga was when Hans-Jörg Butt did so for Bayern Munich against Mainz on 30 January 2010. That spot-kick was saved.
- Pantovic's goal was his first of the season.
- With 13 points from the first 11 games, Bochum are enjoying their best return in the Bundesliga since 2004/05.
Watch: Pantovic: "I didn't think about things too much today"
Bochum: Riemann - Stafylidis (Gamboa 77'), Masovic, Lampropoulos, Soares - Löwen, Losilla (c), Rexhbecaj (Pantovic 64') - Asano, Polter (Novothny 64'), Blum (Holtmann 39')
Unused subs: Esser, Osterhage, Chibsah, Antwi-Adjei, Bella-Kotchap
Out: Bockhorn (thigh), Leitsch (thigh), Tesche (hip), Zoller (knee)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch (Richards 64'), Grillitsch, Vogt - Akpoguma (Dabbur 79'), Rudy, Stiller, Skov (Raum 60') - Baumgartner (Rutter 60') - Bebou, Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Nordveit, Bruun Larsen, Samassekou, Gacinovic
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (foot), Hübner (back), John (shoulder), Kaderabek (ankle)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
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