Sat, 15 June 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Düsseldorf close to Bundesliga return with 3-0 play-off win in Bochum 

Update : 24 May 2024, 15:22

Visiting Fortuna Düsseldorf took a big step towards a Bundesliga return by humbling Bochum 3-0 in the first leg of their promotion/relegation tie on Thursday.

The second division side led after 13 minutes from an own goal by Philipp Hofmann who was hit by the ball after a Christos Tzolis corner kick against the left post.

Bochum's Bernardo headed against the post two minutes later but joint league top scorer Tzolis set up Felix Klaus for Düsseldorf's second in the 64th minute on the counter.

Yannik Engelhardt tapped the third in the 72nd which puts Düsseldorf in full command for the second leg match they host on Monday.

"The team showed attitude but the journey is not over. We are happy to have an advantage for Monday," Düsseldorf coach Daniel Thioune told Sky TV.

Bochum's Kevin Stöger said: "We wanted a positive result which we didn't manage. Everything is still possible but if we play like in the second half we won't make it."

Düsseldorf finished the second tier in the third place with a run of 14 games without defeat. Bochum slipped to third last in the Bundesliga on the final matchday with defeat at Werder Bremen, coupled with Union Berlin's last gasp win against Freiburg.

Bochum want to stay in the Bundesliga for a third straight season but need a miracle in Düsseldorf against a host side that last played in the top flight in 2019-20.

Bundesliga teams have won 12 of the 15 play-off ties since they were introduced again in 2009. Düsseldorf are among the three second division sides that prevailed, 2012 against Hertha Berlin, and no team has ever come back from three goals down.

Among the spectators and wearing a Bochum shirt was Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka who was born in Bochum, rose through their academy and started his professional career there in 2012.

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