Proud despite narrow defeat!


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The 2021/22 Bundesliga season is over and VfL Bochum have completed a wonderful journey in Berlin. Despite numerous absences and a 2-0 deficit at the break, Thomas Reis’ team fought back bravely. Shortly before the end, however, the Blue-and-Whites conceded the decisive goal. It doesn’t matter, though – because pride is still the prevailing emotion!

On the 34th Bundesliga matchday, VfL Bochum 1848 travelled for the last time this season to 1. FC Union Berlin. The club had already secured its place in the Bundesliga a fortnight ago but it remained to be seen where the Blue-and-Whites would finish this spectacular season. 25,000 spectators were present at the sold-out Alte Försterei.

Compared to the 2-1 home win against Bielefeld, there were numerous changes, as several players were absent due to colds. In the end, head coach Thomas Reis made six changes. “Bruno” Esser replaced Manuel Riemann in goal, Simon Zoller, Patrick Osterhage, Robert Tesche, Herbert Bockhorn and Armel Bella Kotchap also started. Gerrit Holtmann remained on the bench for the time being while Milos Pantović, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Erhan Masović and Maxim Leitsch did not travel.

This is how the game went:

1′ The ball is rolling. Let’s go, Blue-and-Whites!

2′ First great save by Esser. Union play a long ball to the quick Becker, our keeper anticipates early and clears with aplomb.

2′ Would have been offside. Nevertheless, it is important that Esser is there in time.

5′ The hosts take the lead. Haraguchi crosses, Prömel heads in unmarked.

7′ First attack of the boys from the Castroper Strasse. Asano powers down the left and crosses, but the ball ends up in the hands of Union’s goalkeeper Luthe.

12′ Union again operate with a long ball to Becker. Bella Kotchap stays with him and wins the duel – opportunity thwarted!

15′ An attack by the hosts ends with Awoniyi, who fails to hit the ball properly – luckily for VfL.

19′ First change made by Berlin. Becker has to come off due to injury, Michel comes on.

20′ Tesche looks for Polter in the middle, but the cross finds Union.

22′ Haraguchi tests Esser. The shot is too central, our keeper saves easily.

23′ Tesche throws himself into a shot by substitute Michel. Referee Marco Fritz points to the corner. So far, so good. But then the VAR intervenes.

24′ Marco Fritz looks at the scene again on the monitor and now decides on a penalty. Tesche*s arm made contact with the ball and he is shown yellow.

25′ Awoniyi converts the penalty kick. Bruno Esser touched it with his fingertips, but cannot prevent it from going in.

27′ Bockhorn’s cross is safely caught by Luthe.

27′ Toto receives a yellow card for a foul on Khedira.

32′ More than half an hour has passed at the Alte Försterei. It’s obvious that our eleven boys have never played together on the pitch in this constellation before and won’t do so again. It’s good that we’ve already secured our place in the league. Everyone still gives their all!

36′ Long ball to Polter, Knoche clears the ball .

41′ A bit of calm has returned. Many duels in midfield. Both teams are finding it difficult to play their way into the penalty box.

42′ Osterhage should win a cornergoal, but referee Marco Fritz decides on a goal kick.

44′ Michel receives a yellow card for a foul on Toto.

45′ Asano tries a bicycle kick, but is prevented from shooting. Tesche is lurking outside the box and lets fly, but he misses.

45′ +1 Asano has VfL’s best chance in this first half. Luthe saves, then the offside whistle sounds.

Half-time:We are trailing 2-0 at the break. Deserved, no question. Union are dominating the game without threatening too much. Prömel scored early, Esser was unlucky with Awoniyi’s penalty when he got his fingertips to the ball. Asano had the best chance for VfL shortly before the break. It’s clear that we can’t control a game of football with this team that’s entirely new. Everyone is throwing themselves into the game, that’s the most important thing today.

46′ The ball is rolling again. Head coach Thomas Reis makes a substitution, Löwen comes on for Tesche. For Union, Voglsammer replaces Michel, who is in danger of a red card.

51′ Awoniyi almost scores the third goal after the ball bounces to him.

51′ Asano is through, our Japanese player takes a shot. Unfortunately, he misses the goal.

55′ GOOOAL for VfL! Zoller scores his comeback goal! A pinpoint cross from Soares, Zolli puts the ball perfectly into the far corner with his head. Only 2-1 down from VfL Bochum’s point of view!

60′ We’re putting Union under some pressure, have the ball more often now. It looks much better than in the first half. The reward followed with Zolli’s goal.

62′ Voglsammer header. Very central, Esser has it.

65′ Unusual change. Holtmann comes on for Bella Kotchap. Thomas Reis now seems to be pushing for the equaliser.

65′ Löwen’s free kick from half field. Polter just misses it.

67′ Outstanding save by Esser! Our keeper saves from a great chance by Awoniyi, keeping us in the game.

68′ In Manuel Riemann style, Esser hits a long kick to Asano who gets to the ball, but cannot control it properly.

72′ A good attack by VfL. Polter passes to Bockhorn, who crosses the ball into the sixteenth. Löwen is ready to shoot, but is pressurised and can’t get there.

73′ Next save from Esser. This time he saves a shot by substitute Schäfer.

79′ GOOOOOAL for VfL! Löwen makes it 2-2! Asano passes back to Löwen, who curls the ball beautifully into the far corner. That’s the equaliser!

80′ Third change by VfL. Bonga comes on for Asano.

83′ Another world-class save from Esser! It’s amazing what our keeper is doing here today!

88′ Awoniyi scores. 3-2 down now. The attacker somehow manages to get through and even the outstanding Esser is helpless.

89′ Great thing! Bundesliga debut for Luis Hartwig, one of the academy players! Always something very special!

90′ Four minutes added! Is there anything left here?

90’+4 There’s another corner! Everybody moves up!

Full-time: Not enough, Union win late on. Too bad, more would have been deserved after that second period. But come on, whatever. Simply a great season! Now it’s time for the well-deserved summer break!


Proud despite narrow defeat!

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