Another game under the floodlights at ‘anne Castroper’, another point in the bank for VfL Bochum 1848 after a 2-2 draw against 1. FC Cologne. In an impressive opening spell, Gerrit Holtmann scored a great goal for the hosts, with Hübers and Modeste giving the visitors the lead. But Thomas Reis’ team dug in and were rewarded by Takuma Asano’s first goal in Blue-and-White.
After reaching the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal in a spectacular 3-1 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05, VfL Bochum had their next home game at ‘anne Castroper’ just three days later. For our third match within a week, VfL Bochum head coach Thomas Reis stuck with new addition Jürgen Locadia up front and brought in Stafylidis and Löwen to replace Gamboa and Osterhage for the home match against 1.FC Cologne. Cologne head coach Baumgart brought back top scorer Anthony Modeste compared to their midweek cup match.
VfL Bochum started on the offensive straight away with Locadia linking up with Pantovic and the latter passing to Rexhbecaj who was blocked on the by-line and could not get his cross in. After six minutes, the ball got to Pantovic in the box, his shot was blocked but the rebound was hit by Rexhbecaj – over the bar.
VfL Bochum were clearly in the driving seat, and it took the visitors from Cologne 11 minutes to threaten from their first corner when Kilian rose to the ball but had his effort saved by Riemann. From Riemann’s distribution, it took Kilian just seconds to scythe Rexhbecaj down, but he was fortunate to escape a yellow card.
In the 16th minute, Holtmann set off on one of his trademark dribbles before setting up Löwen whose shot went wide. Just one minute later, Locadia released Holtmann whose right-footed shot was blocked by goalkeeper Schwäbe.
Bochum increasingly employed their speed up front with 1.FC Cologne having to resort to fouls in midfield to intercept the hosts’ attacks with Schmitz getting away with a bad tackle on Soares. In the 22nd minute Holtmann and Löwen played a one-two but were stopped inside the Cologne box.
Just 60 seconds later, the visitors seemed certain to take a surprise lead when Leitsch lost his footing, the ball reached Modeste but the forward saw his shot rise over the bar.
In the 25th minute, Locadia collected a long ball, wrong-footed two defenders and played a ball towards the right wing where Holtmann left his marker standing before nutmegging the goalkeeper with his weaker right foot – the deserved lead for VfL Bochum.
The Boys in Floodlight Blue were in charge now and after 33 minutes, Locadia got the ball inside the box and was close to doubling our lead. Instead, VfL Bochum failed to clear from a corner and in the ensuing melee, Hübers poked the ball into the net – an equaliser out of nothing.
In the 41st minute, Locadia did well to stay on the ball before curling a shot from the edge of the box, only for Schwäbe to punch it away. The ensuing corner resulted in a fast break with two Bochum defenders facing three attackers, but Soares’ excellent intervention broke up the counter-attack.
Seconds before the interval, FC Cologne intercepted a sloppy pass in midfield a long ball found Modeste who controlled the ball with his first touch before lobbing it over Riemann into the net from 20 yards.
Both teams returned unchanged and it was only seconds before the ball found Hector in the box but his shot from the left went wide of the far post. VfL Bochum found their composure and put pressure on the Cologne defence and after 53 minutes this seemed certain to pay dividends when Schwäbe could only palm away Holtmann’s curling effort as far as Pantovic who kept his cool before teeing the ball up for Löwen eight yards in front of goal, but our midfielder just could not keep his shot down.
After 56 minutes Locadia had to limp off and was replaced by Sebastian Polter. Four minutes later, the first yellow card of the match was shown to Hector for a foul on Rexhbecaj.
In the 65th minute, Soares with a great assist for Polter whose shot rose over the bar with Gamboa and Asano replacing Stafylidis and Pantovic immediately after. Three minutes later, Bella Kotchap forced his way through midfield and his shot from 25 yards went narrowly over the bar.
In the 70th minute, a long throw by Gamboa found Polter inside the box who pulled the ball back before leaving it to the approaching Takuma Asano who struck a low shot into the bottom left corner for his first goal in a Floodlight-Blue jersey – 2-2!
Both teams were pushing for the winner now with Modeste chasing a through ball in the 76th minute but Bella Kotchap and Leitsch managing to stop him. Thomas Reis sent on Antwi-Adjei and Osterhage in place of Holtmann and Rexhbecaj.
After 84 minutes, Polter teed up for Osterhage who throw himself at the ball but his effort was blocked by Schwäbe. A minute later, Antwi-Adjei was clean through on the right wing but brought down by Jannes Horn just outside the box for a free-kick and a more than justified yellow card.
Despite four minutes of added time, the match stayed 2-2, which takes VfL Bochum to 24 points before the international break. On Friday, 4th February, 8:30pm (CET), VfL Bochum will play Hertha BSC at the Berlin Olympic Stadium.