VfL Bochum vs. Cologne: A single point after seven games - Sport

Steffen Baumgart used a word from very old Sportschau times to describe what happened during the 1-1 draw between the VfL Bochum and to describe 1. FC Köln. The game was "racy", he said, and wherever the word comes from, whatever it means: the Cologne coach put it appropriately. It was a football evening with a nostalgic touch, which was not just due to the fact that the Bochum stadium itself is a monument-worthy relic from the last century.

Both sides fought in the constant rain with original means, while the fan curves sang yesterday's slogans like "Olé Blau-Weiss olé" or "C'mon FC". So it was an evening according to Baumgart's puristic taste, which he personally told every Bochum player. Everyone got a smack or a hug or both, but he didn't really comfort them with it.

VfL had come close to not only winning the first point of the season, but three at once. At the same time, he was very far from representing a winning team. Cologne equalized in the 88th minute, but it was the logical result of Cologne's constant superiority, of which Bochum were also honestly aware. "Cologne had an incredible physique for which we had no solution," confessed VfL attacker Gerrit Holtmann.

"Whatever the club decides - we will implement it," says Simon Zoller

His strike partner Simon Zoller found his opponent "extremely strong" and therefore booked the draw as a "decent point" despite the late shock. The FC-Elf have "an incredible amount of quality - we had to chase and defend a lot and in the end we were almost happy that we didn't lose", Bochum interim coach Heiko Butscher agreed with the tenor.

VfL Bochum: Coach Heiko Butscher (centre) could almost have celebrated Bochum's first win of the season.  So it became only the first point.

Coach Heiko Butscher (centre) could almost have celebrated Bochum's first win of the season. So it became only the first point.

(Photo: Bernd Thissen/dpa)

From the point of view of the VfL fans, these hymn-like compliments to the visiting team must sound worrying, because Cologne have played much better this season. In terms of fitness, they were surprisingly far ahead of Bochum after four English weeks in a row. But they found it difficult to create chances and made a series of mistakes. The momentous one happened in the ninth minute, when Timo Hübers and Benno Schmitz scored an own goal, one could almost say "scored" a duet. Own goals are a Cologne specialty this season, Baumgart has no explanation for this: "I won't find them and therefore I won't look for them."

Butscher was also warmly hugged by the Cologne coach as he left. How often he still enjoys such collegial gestures as a temporary coach is open. "I'll say it very clearly," he said - and then announced that he didn't know when he would be replaced again. The Bochum management apparently wanted to create facts with the dismissal of Thomas Reis. Apparently there were different views on this in the team. Zoller, one of the older VfLers, found "the week with dismissal, interim coach, sharpening senses not easy". He demonstratively refused to make a critical comment: "We are, were and will always be loyal to the club. Whatever the club decides - we will implement it."

The draw saved Bochum from setting a Bundesliga record they didn't want. But a single point after seven games shows the need. The current team has clear deficits in the offensive game and in the cover work compared to the promoted team, which largely knew how to stay out of the relegation battle. Now you're right in the middle and you're pretty much behind. It is possible that not only old-fashioned, but also wistful songs will soon be sung on Castroper Straße.

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