Bochum 3-1 Duisburg

The first half formations.

Bochum are just 180 minutes away from promotion to the Bundesliga after an accomplished performance against also-ran Duisburg.

This round 34 tie in 2. Bundesliga involved two sides with all still to play for. Bochum, two points ahead of fourth-placed Greuther Fürth, knew that a win here would earn them a place in the Bundesliga’s two-legged play-off against the top division’s third-worst side, Borussia Mönchengladbach. But if Bochum were to draw this home tie and Greuther Fürth won their home game against mid-table Fortuna Düsseldorf it would be the minnows who’d leapfrog Bochum into third spot due to a far superior goal difference. So ultimately, it was third-place or nothing for Friedhelm Funkel’s side, with Augsburg and Hertha BSC having already secured the league’s only two automatic promotion spots. Continue reading

Energie Cottbus 2-1 VfL Bochum

The starting formations.

Energie Cottbus came from behind to inflict a third away defeat of the season on mid-table Bochum, move into the top five in the process.

After a frantic opening few minutes, Cottbus got the ball down and settled into a pattern of starting short and inviting pressure.

Bochum kept their North Korean striker Jong Tae-Se sprinting after whichever defender had the ball, but stationed the rest of the team behind halfway.

With Cottbus insisting on slowly bringing the ball out and assessing which of the eight players in the opponent’s half was the best option, they left themselves open at the back.

Initially, Bochum looked to take advantage here by scooping over the top for Jong to chase, but the former Kawasaki Frontale frontman was isolated, and flopping too readily.

As this gave the visitors no territorial advantage, the home side’s grip on the game strengthened, and the chances were all their’s.

Cottbus formed a melina square involving the central defenders and midfielders, and in response to this, Bochum narrowed accordingly. Continue reading