Germany: Bundesliga
1 - 1
(1 - 0)
FC Köln
B. Schmitz (9), L. Maina (88)
By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

Maina strikes late as Bochum fall short of much needed win

VfL Bochum who are no longer with manager Reis, made a dream start going ahead in the 9th minute and fought bravely throughout, but fell victim to a late Köln goal.
After some highly entertaining European exploits to deal with, Köln made the short trip to Bundesliga basement side Bochum. Having lost six from their opening six games, Bochum were reluctant to make history by becoming the first side in Bundesliga history to lose seven in a row to start the season. Unfortunately, on this rain-soaked Ruhr afternoon, Linton Maina’s 88th minute goal snatched victory from Bochum at the death.

In the 9th minute the hosts took a shock lead in the most unorthodox of fashion. Stöger released Gerrit Holtmann on the break and while his cross was initially blocked by Hector, it cruelly deflected goalward off teammate Benno Schmitz’s shin into the Köln net. While Die Giessbocke settled after conceding, the hosts came close again on 20 minutes and Holtmann was central again as his beautifully hit strike curled onto Schwäbe’s left post to the despair of the faithful Bochum support.

Ljubicic and Kainz had some chances from range for Baumgart’s side but none of which truly tested Riemann inside 30 minutes. Köln should have dragged themselves level on 39 minutes from a set piece. Kainz’s delivery bounced all the way through to the unmarked Skhiri who perhaps took his eyes off the ball as his header hit the side netting. Despite the lack of possession, the blue clad side from Castroper Straße went into the dressing rooms ahead 1-0 at the break.

Surprisingly the energetic Holtmann was replaced by Osei-Tutu ahead of the restart in what can only be presumed a precautionary switch or indeed injury related. Köln struggled to get a foothold in the tricky conditions and hard-working opponents. The game was shy on chances in the second half – Philipp Hofmann’s shot from 30 yards the closest anyone had come for some time. Baumgart made a triple substitution after the hour mark in the hope of offering something different. Kingsley Schindler and Martel replaced Schmitz and Duda, while Thielmann made way for Linton Maina who had a fine game against Slovácko last Thursday night.

Baumgart threw the kitchen sink at Bochum on 74 minutes introducing Adamyan and Dietz with quarter of an hour to play. Maina was the first to get a shot on target for a misfiring Köln side. The winger’s shot was destined for the bottom right corner but for Riemann’s fine intervention. Bochum’s shot stopper was an onlooker moments later however, as Adamyan’s effort screwed beautifully off his boot onto the post only to bounce agonisingly across goal.

Janko and Mašović came on for Bochum to shore up the closing minutes. A corner with five minutes left yielded a great opportunity for Dietz who rose highest, but again Riemann was on hand to repel the danger. Just as Bochum looked like they would hold on for three valuable points, disaster struck. Köln worked the ball down the left and Dietz broke the ball for Maina who blasted his shot through the seemingly impenetrable Riemann for 1-1. Soldo almost snatched all three points for the visitors late on, but the game finished level. Heartbreak for a Bochum as their wait for a first league win goes on.

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