31st matchday: “Fought, shouted, fought”: Bochum celebrates a 3-2 win

The Bochum players hugged each other with complete relief, and a little later they were jumping up and down in front of their fans.

31st matchday: “Fought, shouted, fought”: Bochum celebrates a 3-2 win

The Bochum players hugged each other with complete relief, and a little later they were jumping up and down in front of their fans. “We’re still alive,” the stadium announcer shouted into the microphone after VfL Bochum had ended their winless streak.

The well-deserved 3:2 (2:0) against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim provided extremely important points in the fight to stay in the Bundesliga.

"After the final whistle, everyone in Bochum was relieved. It was a great game, not an easy one at the end, but definitely a deserved winner. That feels incredibly good," said VfL double goalscorer Kevin Stöger at DAZN. “You could see that everyone was standing here today as a unit and that everyone around them was fighting, screaming and fighting together for this victory.”

Bochum temporarily moves up to 14th place

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim's striker Andrej Kramaric was served. "We knew what was coming today," said the angry striker, but in the end Bochum deserved to win: "We only played football for the last 20 minutes."

Thanks to their success, the Bochum team coached by Heiko Butscher, who had previously failed to win eight times in a row, at least temporarily left the relegation zone and moved up to 14th place.

In front of 24,300 mostly enthusiastic spectators in the Ruhrstadion, Stöger (34th/64th minute) and Felix Passlack (45th 2) scored the goals for VfL. Hoffenheim, however, suffered a setback in the race for the European Cup places. Coach Pellegrino Matarazzo's team, for whom Kramaric scored twice (73'/84'), remains ninth in the Bundesliga.

Five VfL chances to score in the first ten minutes

Before the game, Butscher spoke of the most important game of the season. “We have to burn here, radiate optimism from the first second and move forward,” said the 43-year-old. And his team took him at his word. In the first ten minutes, Bochum created five chances to score. Philipp Hofmann alone had three degrees. With his best opportunity, Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann barely steered the ball onto the crossbar.

Hofmann, who had been so conspicuous up front until then, briefly caused Bochum's horror: the center forward hit Hoffenheim's Wout Weghorst in the face in the VfL penalty area. Referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the penalty spot, but after a lengthy video review he withdrew the penalty because of an offside position.

TSG now made the game a little more balanced. But Bochum had the better chances. Attacker Moritz Broschinski was denied by Baumann from a slightly tight angle (33'), only around a minute later the goalkeeper had no chance to defend: Stöger flicked a free kick from around 17 meters into the corner.

Oliver Baumann concedes 715th Bundesliga goal

Hoffenheim was looking for a quick answer. Tim Drexler only hit the crossbar from the crowd in the six-yard box. Bochum did better: After a Broschinski cross from the left side, Kramaric couldn't get the ball under control and Passlack scored from close range to make it 2-0. For Baumann it was the 715th goal conceded in the Bundesliga - Harald "Toni" Schumacher also had to accept the same number. Only Eike Immel and Dieter Burdenski conceded more goals in the German top flight in their careers. And for Baumann it wasn't to be the last goal conceded of the evening.

Bochum played big. The strong Stöger increased the score to 3-0 with a converted rebound. Hoffenheim, on the other hand, hardly appeared on the offensive for a long time - and yet they came close again. Kramaric first made it 1:3 and then even made it 2:3 with a wonderful lob over Bochum's Manuel Riemann.

Nervousness spread among the VfL fans. The home team suddenly wobbled - Iwan Ordets went down after a cramp - but didn't fall. A long-range shot from Marius Bülter flew just over the goal. The fans frenetically celebrated the final whistle after six minutes of injury time.

At TSG, where there had recently been major discussions about the club's future line-up, things weren't expected to get any quieter after this appearance.