Germany: Bundesliga
4 - 1
(1 - 0)
M. Friedl (6), A. Jung (78), J. Stage (80), R. Schmid (87)
C. Antwi-Adjej (85)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Bochum enraged after blowing "match-point": "We simply failed today."

Frustration spread all about the VfL Bochum ranks on Saturday after the team that began the day with more points than any of the other four-relegation candidates learned that they would be the ones contesting the playoffs. 

Bochum had what Germans refer to as "Matchball" (which translates to "match-point) in English, yet frittered away the chance to shape their own fate.

Entering the 2023/24 German Bundesliga's final match-day, VfL Bochum found themselves in control of their destiny on 33 points in 14th-place. Of the four top tier clubs still involved in the relegation fray, the Revierklub had the easiest path. Heiko Butscher's VfL needed only to draw away at SV Werder Bremen in order to clinch safety for themselves. After all nine simultaneous kickoffs hit full-time, Bochum found themselves overtaken by winners Union Berlin and FSV Mainz 05.

"Today's performance was absolutely atrocious," VfL co-sporting director Marc Lettau noted in his post-match interview with Sky Germany, "On the basis of that, we didn't deserve it. 

Team talisman Kevin Stöger and squad captain Anthony Losilla expressed similar sentiments, with Losilla noting that "we simply failed failed today". Lettau and Stöger did both attempt to strike an optimistic tone tone about the forthcoming two-legged relegation playoffs against third-placed 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Düsseldorf. Stöger had to get his frustration out first. 

"It was simply a poor game from us," Stöger raged, "Unacceptable. We definitely don't deserve to stay in the league [based on that]. Everyone should question themselves." 

"The only positive thing you can say today," Stöger continued, "if there is indeed anything positive to say at all, is that we still have two games left and have it in our own hands to stay in the league."

"We will get through this together and also win the game," Lettau added, "I'm certain of that. We will see this through together with Heiko Butscher." 

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