Bochum beat Cologne to revive survival hopes
Goals from Kevin Stöger and Erhan Masovic gave Bochum a priceless 2-0 triumph in Cologne on Friday, boosting their hopes of avoiding relegation in the fiercest survival battle in Bundesliga history.
Cologne 0-2 Bochum
Goals: 0-1 Stöger (pen. 9'), 0-2 Masovic 76' (assist: Asano)
Having swapped places with Schalke at the foot of the Bundesliga standings after losing to the Royal Blues last week, Bochum really needed a pick-me-up in the Matchday 24 opener. It didn't initially appear to be forthcoming in the opening exchanges as Cologne dominated, with Ellyes Shkiri drilling a dangerous shot at goal from distance in the opening seconds. Jonas Hector then had a devilish cross from the left cleared by Ivan Ordets as the Billy Goats threatened to overwhelm their guests, but a clumsy Timo Hübers foul on Anthony Antwi-Adjei inside the box changed the course of the game – and maybe even Bochum's season. Stöger scored the ensuing penalty and suddenly the away side were everywhere, Takuma Asano going close with a fizzing shot across the face of goal.
Cologne tried to probe and find spaces in the visiting rearguard but were often lacking the finishing touch inside the box, with Davie Selke unable to finish a number of openings, while Florian Kainz's teasing ball across goal only needed a touch to go over the line. Bochum eventually showed them how it was done in the final 15 minutes when a Stöger free-kick deflected off the wall to Philipp Hofmann, who recycled possession with the ball eventually arriving at the feet of Masovic to smash in from close range. The home side subsequently made a triple substitution in a bid to salvage something from the game but Bochum clung tight to their precious lead and held on for what could yet prove to be three pivotal points in the battle for survival.
- Bochum were awarded their first penalty in the Bundesliga this season – the last of all teams to be given a spot-kick.
- Stöger's goal was his first from the penalty spot in the Bundesliga. He previously converted one this term in the DFB Cup against Borussia Dortmund.
- Cologne conceded in the opening 15 minutes of a game for the ninth time this season. Only VfB Stuttgart have a worse record in that regard in 2022/23.
- Masovic has now scored three Bundesliga goals this term, all coming in the second half of the season.
- Nine of Bochum's 21 goals under coach Thomas Letsch have come from set pieces.
- This was Bochum's first win over Cologne in the Bundesliga since April 2004 - a 2-1 victory at the RheinEnergieStadion. They have won just two of their 31 Bundesliga trips to the Cathedral City (D7, L22).
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Cologne: Schwäbe - Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Hector (c) - Skhiri, Martel (Olesen 77') - Maina (Adamyan 78'), Ljubicic (Huseinbasic 67'), Kainz (Lemperle 77') - Selke (Tigges 67')
Unused subs: T. Horn, Köbbing, Schindler, Soldo
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (cruciate ligament), Kilian (muscular), Pedersen (muscular), Uth (pelvis), Thielmann (thigh)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Bochum: Riemann - Stafylidis, Ordets, Masovic, Soares (Heintz 46') - Stöger, Losilla (c), Osterhage (Broschinski 82') - Asano (Kunde 81'), Hofmann, Antwi-Adjei
Unused subs: Johansson, Förster, Holtmann, Janko, Schlotterbeck
Out: Esser (ill), Gamboa (knee), Grave (shoulder), Zoller (thigh)
Coach: Thomas Letsch
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