Arminia Bielefeld's winless streak extended to ten games at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Friday night.
The seventh straight loss on the road leaves the 17th placed club from the Teutoburg forest in danger of automatic relegation this weekend.
|Stefan Ortega.||Photo: Haraldbischoff, CC BY-SA 3.0|
DSC Arminia Bielefeld will require some help from German champions FC Bayern München this weekend if they are to avoid automatic relegation. A 1-2 loss to Bochum on Friday night means that die Arminen one again failed to pick up points on the season's penultimate matchday.
Stuttgart can seal Bielefeld's automatic relegation with a win away at Bayern on Sunday. Should Stuttgart draw Bayern, relegation is still a relative certainty in light of Bielefeld's minus-26 goal differential. The loss at the Castroper Straße came in heartbreaking fashion for the East Westphalian club.
Despite the fact that another season of Bundesliga football had already been secured in the previous round, VfL trainer Thomas Reis made just one change to the starting XI that bested regional rivals Dortmund last week. Danilo Soares returned from injury to take over for Herbert Bockhorn at left back. Arminia interim trainer Marco Kostmann made only two changes to his XI from last round. Florian Krüger and Alessandro Schöpf replaced Burak Ince and Fabian Kunze.
A match between two of the Bundesliga's lowest-scoring teams got off to a surprisingly open start. Within 60 seconds, the home side had earned a corner. VfL striker Sebastian Polter directed a header on target off the set piece. Bochum were able to generate another great scoring chance in the 3rd. Gerrit Holtmann headed a Milos Pantovic whip-in just over the bar. The DSC were back driving the other way within three minutes, with Patrick Wimmer failing to finish off a rebound in the 6th.
Buoyed by the outstanding atmosphere inside the Vonovia Ruhrstasdion, the 1848ers kept pressing. Bielefeld keeper Stefan Ortega prevented the 1-0 in the 13th only via a brilliant save on Pantovic. Ortega was again forced into acrobatic action in the 15th, saving a vicious Pantovic first-time hit. The long-overdue lead finally came in the 21st. Polter headed home from close range after some excellent set-up work from both Holtmann and Pantovic.
The hosts backed off a bit after grabbing the lead. Die Arminen nevertheless found themselves unable to create any danger from the additional possession accorded them. Ten minutes from the stroke of halftime, the veteran footballer Bielefeld brought in to help them save their season delivered. Former VfB Stuttgart captain Gonzalo Castro lifted a free kick into the area in the 35th.
Last week's hero Joakim Nilsson toke advantage of some poor marking to score just is second Bundesliga goal. Seeking to ride the momentum before it was time to head into the dressing rooms, Kostermann's Tuetoburg's attempted to press forward. The DSC still couldn't manage much beyond a couple of off target distance efforts. The match remained tied 1-1 at the break.
Kostermann switched strikers at the break, bringing on Janni Luc-Serra in place of Florian Krüger. Neither side could really establish much of a foothold. When it the action picked up again around the hour-mark, it was Bochum getting the better of the game via incursions from flankers Holtmann and Takuma Asano.
The hosts carefully controlled the game whilst trainer Reis gradually subbed in some of the players scheduled to leave next season for a final farewell. The East Westphalian guests truly couldn't manage anything. Laborious possession and a lack of ideas kept their play meager and left the club as a whole vulnerable to a sucker punch.
The hammer blow came in the 89th. Simon Zoller latched onto a piercing through ball from fellow substitute Danny Blum. Ortega initially stopped Zoller, but the rebound bounces of Arminia's American defender George Bello (caught out of position and hustling to get back) an into the net. Bello's own-goal completely sunk the visitors and late attempts at an equalizer remained fairly meek.
|27||M. Pantović ↪84|
|8||A. Losilla (C)|
|20||E. Rexhbecaj ↪73|
|10||T. Asano ↪84|
|40||S. Polter ⚽ ↪68|
|17||G. Holtmann ↪73|
|7||D. Blum ↩84|
|9||S. Zoller ↩73|
|19||J. Locadia ↩68|
|23||R. Tesche ↩73|
|38||E. Löwen ↩84|
|1||S. Ortega Moreno|
|15||N. De Medina|
|4||J. Nilsson ⚽|
|5||J. Laursen ↪77|
|8||A. Schöpf ↪86|
|19||M. Prietl (C)|
|11||M. Okugawa ↪77|
|18||F. Krüger ↪46|
|7||G. Castro ↪67|
|21||R. Hack ↩86|
|23||J. Serra ↩46|
|24||G. Bello ↩77 ⚽|
|17||B. İnce ↩77|
|39||S. Vasiliadis ↩67|