What an ending -VfL Bochum 1848 had to chase VfB Stuttgart’s lead deep into injury time after an unfortunate deflection by Armel Bella Kotchap was us go down. In the fourth minute of added time, a foul on Sebastian Polter earned a penalty which was converted by Eduard Löwen to give us an invaluable away point against another team fighting relegation.
After our memorable 4-2 win over Bayern Munich, VfL Bochum 1848 had to travel to face VfB Stuttgart in front of 20,059 fans. Manuel Riemann returned from quarantine to replace Michael “Bruno“ Esser in goal and the suspended Elvis Rexhbecaj made space for Miloš Pantović.
In a tense opening spell, both teams displayed discipline and concentration in defence, thus making it difficult for the attackers. In the fourth minute, Antwi-Adjei hit a promising cross but Locadia just could not connect while down the other end the speedy Silas tried to outpace Leitsch only for our central defender to dispossess him easily.
In the 8th minute, Holtmann beat his defender on the left wing before hitting a cut-back, but Pantovic’s effort went over. VfB Stuttgart’s Führich then came close with a shot from distance two minutes later. After 12 minutes, Soares went down in midfield after a kick to the face, Stuttgart played on and threatened but Osterhage rushed back into Soares’ position to boot the ball clear.
After a physical duel with Soares, Silas had to come off and was replaced by Marmoush after 20 minutes, and three minutes later, Osterhage was shown the first yellow card of the encounter.
In the 27th minute, Toto let fly from 25 yards but the ball went over. Both teams struggled to create chances now until the 42nd minute, when a long ball was aimed towards Locadia but the Bochum forward was stopped by Anton.
But the last opportunities of the first half belonged to VfB Stuttgart from a shot by Marmoush from 25 yards going wide and a header by Mavropanos which was collected by Riemann.
Both teams returned unchanged but it was the hosts who were in the driving seat now with Marmoush again looking for a goal but aiming high after 50 minutes. Two m inutes later, VfL Bochum were on the break but Antwi-Adjei was pushed and could not control his shot.
After 53 Thomas Reis sent on Asano for Holtmann and it took the substitute under 60 seconds to break through down the middle but his shot from 20 yards narrowly missed the target. Another minute later, Marmoush, was clean through but his shot was blocked by Riemann’s head.
Out of the blue, Stuttgart took the lead when Mangala got his head to a corner-kick and the ball took a vicious defection off Bella-Kotchap’s hip – 1-0.
After 60 minutes, Antwi-Adjei saw a yellow and two minutes later, head coach Thomas Reis introduced Polter, Löwen and Stafylidis instead of Locadia, Pantovic and Soares. After alleged handball, Gamboa received another caution after 64 minutes.
VfL Bochum now piled on the pressure but it took until the 72nd minute for Asano to curl a long ball to the far post where Antwi-Adjei could not get his header in. With Bochum opening up, Mangala received the ball in central position just ten yards out, but Riemann was off the line and saved from point-blank range.
After 83 minutes, Polter rose to a cross and directed a looping header past goalkeeper Müller but also against the far post only for the ball to rebound clear. Two minutes later, Endo and Mangala played a one-two in the Bochum box but Riemann saved again.
In the fourth minute of added time, Polter was scythed down from behind on the edge of the Stuttgart six-yard box and the ref awarded a penalty. Löwen sent the goalie the wrong way and equalised for an important away point to add to the three from the Bayern match and take us to 29 points altogether.
Next week, we will play three home games starting with our encounter with big spenders RB Leipzig on Sunday, 27 February, 3:30 pm.