Bochum destruct as Düsseldorf make giant step towards Bundesliga promotion

By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

VfL Bochum welcomed Fortuna Düsseldorf to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion for the first leg of the promotion-relegation battle. Tonight’s 3-0 win leaves Düsseldorf in poll position for a return to the German top-flight.

Bochum started on the front foot as Kevin Stöger went about creating havoc from open play and set-piece opportunities. Despite the simmering Rührpott atmosphere, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. The crowd stunned into silence as Christos Tzolis’ corner rebounded off the post into Philipp Hofmann who could do little to prevent the freak own-goal.

Bochum looked to respond instantly at the opposite end. Florian Kastenmeier cut a relieved figure as Bernardo’s header cannoned off the upright into his grasp. Although Maximilian Wittek rattled the Düsseldorf net after the 30-minute mark, the linesman instantly raised his flag aloft for what was a clear offside position occupied by the German wide man. 

Although their momentum stagnated after their early goal, Fortuna came out swinging after the interval roared on by a ravenous travelling support. Kenneth Vermeij’s early warning shot offered Bochum and Andreas Luthe a taste of what was to come. Not long after the hour, Felix Clauss doubled Düsseldorf’s advantage. Tzolis found space on the left and squared inside for the ex-Wolfsburg winger who remained composed to find the lower left corner.

The scoreboard read 3-0 in the 72nd minute as Yannick Engelhardt gobbled up Luthe’s parried save. Once again, Christos Tzolis with the midas touch – the intrinsic element in Fortuna Düsseldorf’s evening, lending a hand towards all three goals. In fact, Bochum were lucky to escape without conceding a fourth as Luthe’s saves stood between Klaus and Tzolis at the death. The return leg will take place in Düsseldorf next Monday.

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