Bundesliga: Bochum facing relegation: “Brutal day for all of us”

Bundesliga
Bochum before relegation: “Brutal day for all of us”

VfL Bochum is facing relegation. Photo

© David Inderlied/dpa

VfL Bochum doesn’t want to officially give up yet. But after the relegation first leg, there is little hope of another year in the Bundesliga. Fortuna Düsseldorf is close to promotion.

Horror and disappointment were written on the faces of the Bochum players. “This is a brutal day for all of us,” said sports director Patrick Fabian after the 0:3 defeat in the first leg of the relegation match against Fortuna Düsseldorf with an almost completely petrified expression.

Midfielder Kevin Stöger said he felt sorry for the whole of Bochum. “Bochum didn’t deserve that,” said the 30-year-old in the catacombs of the Ruhrstadion. There, VfL suffered a bitter and probably decisive defeat. Relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga can probably only be prevented by a football miracle.

“Of course, the straw has become incredibly small now,” said coach Heiko Butscher, adding with a view to the return match against the second division team: “Even if there is a certain emptiness now, we owe it to the club and the fans to try everything on Monday.” He will try to lead the way.

Stöger: “We will not give up”

However, it is difficult to imagine how the Bochum team, who are now completely harmless in attack, can turn the game around against a defensively stable, counter-attacking and confident Düsseldorf team. “It sounds a bit silly now, but if Düsseldorf can score three goals here, why shouldn’t we be able to do it,” said Stöger. “We won’t give up. We still believe in ourselves.”

Sporting director Fabian thought similarly and said: “No matter how small the straw is, no matter how small the hope is, we will not stop until it is over.” A question about possible second division planning was too early for the 36-year-old.

The Düsseldorf team also gave the Bundesliga team from the region a good talking point, despite Bochum’s weak performance beforehand. The impression that they were already planning on playing in the first division was not to be created under any circumstances. “I don’t think Bochum will now say ‘We’re giving up, we’ve already been relegated’,” said goalscorer Yannik Engelhardt. “That’s why we have to fight back on Monday.” Goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier explained: “We’ve seen often enough in football that a 3-0 lead can be turned around.”

dpa

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