Without his suspended coach Thomas Reis, promoted VfL Bochum postponed their party to stay up in the Bundesliga and enabled FC Augsburg to take a big step out of the relegation zone on matchday 31 of the Bundesliga. The Westphalians lost 0:2 (0:2) in the duel between the table neighbors and generously distributed gifts. Three rounds before the end, both clubs can plan another season in the upper house, but they are not 100 percent saved yet.
Andre Hahn after a capital defensive mistake by Bochum (15th) and Michael Gregoritsch with a controversial and superfluous penalty kick (43rd) secured Augsburg’s first win against the Bundesliga returnees in their third duel of the season. With 35 points, the Swabians moved up to one point behind VfL, who have only won one of their last six games.
“We knew what was at stake. That was extremely important. We defended it very well,” said FCA professional Daniel Caligiuri DAZN.
Without their suspended coach Thomas Reis, who saw the red card in the 3-0 loss at SC Freiburg a week ago, Bochum had to postpone the relegation party, also because they generously distributed gifts. “This is a bitter hour for us. We made slight mistakes,” said Under-21 international Armel Bella Kotchap. Despite the defeat, the fans sang: “Never again second division”.
It was the second time that Bochum had to do without rice, due to a corona infection, the VfL head coach had been absent five weeks ago in the 2-0 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach when a cup throw ended the game prematurely.
Before the game and his indoor ban, Reis had helped Simon Zoller to make his starting eleven comeback after a cruciate ligament rupture. The striker was back in Bochum’s starting line-up for the first time since September 12, 2021. Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl was able to fall back on Daniel Caligiuri after his corona illness.
VfL Bochum – FC Augsburg: Both goals conceded a gift
The hosts started more committed, Augsburg initially waited – and got the opening goal served on a silver platter. Maxim Leitsch put the ball on the ball with a header that was too short for Hahn, who flicked it over VfL keeper Manuel Riemann into the goal.
Another Bochum error almost led to the second goal. Captain Anthony Losilla frittered away the ball while building up the game, Carlos Gruezo’s shot just missed the goal (29′). On the other hand, the Westphalians hardly caused any danger in the opposing penalty area, the last pass usually ended up with an Augsburg player.
The 0:2 was also a gift: Caligiuri was already on his way out of the Bochum penalty area when Danilo Soares touched him slightly. To the surprise of almost everyone, referee Bastian Dankert awarded a penalty. Gregoritsch turned provocatively casual.
After the change of sides, the Augsburg defended rustically and consistently – sometimes with wide liberation strikes. Bochum brought in two new strikers in Sebastian Polter and Jürgen Locadia to replace the ineffective Zoller.