TSG Hoffenheim ended their own phase of weakness and VfL Bochum’s surprising run quite effortlessly in one fell swoop.
The Kraichgauer team, who had previously been winless in five competitive games, won 3-1 (2-0) against Westphalia at the start of the 14th Bundesliga matchday. VfL was unbeaten in five games before the encounter.
An own goal from Serbian Erhan Masovic (32nd) put TSG on the road to victory. Then striker Andrej Kramaric (43rd) and joker Ihlas Bebou (76th) scored for Hoffenheim, who remain in sixth place with 23 points. Substitute Goncalo Paciencia (90th) scored spectacularly for Bochum (13 points), who, in twelfth place, were unable to collect any further points in the fight to stay in the league.
“We didn’t do well in two situations in the first half,” said Bochum’s Maximilian Wittek on “DAZN”: “It was better in the second half, we were in it. But many attacks ended in nothing.”
In front of just 16,023 spectators in the Sinsheim Arena, Wout Weghorst should have given the hosts the lead after just 130 seconds. The Dutch international striker only hit VfL goalkeeper Manuel Riemann from close range.
The guests, who had to do without the suspended central defender Keven Schlotterbeck, were unimpressed by the shocking moment. As a result, VfL largely had the game under control and was even the better team at times.
VfL Bochum is only improving slowly
Only a free kick from Kramaric caused some danger again in front of the Bochum goal (20th). Basically, the Hoffenheim team, who were missing high-flyer Maximilian Beier with a cold and the suspended Kevin Akpoguma, hardly came up with anything in the first half hour.
That changed suddenly in the 32nd minute when Weghorst appeared free in front of Riemann. The keeper was initially able to parry the attacker’s shot, but the ball bounced off Masovic and into the VfL goal. Kramaric then showed his class and the Croatian followed up before the break.
At the start of the second round, Letsch brought in two new players in Paciencia and Christopher Antwi-Adjei. That had an effect, Bochum pushed for the next goal. In the 50th minute, the Japanese Takuma Asano was unable to take advantage of a good chance.
After that there wasn’t much more from VfL, the hosts managed the lead. In the 65th minute, the injured Weghorst had to come off. Two minutes later, Marius Bülter missed the great chance to make the preliminary decision. On the other side, Paciencia almost made things exciting again (73′) before substitute Bebou scored.