Friedhelm Funkel has so far been promoted with the sides he has coached five times, in his five 2. Bundesliga seasons. The Bochum coach and his team grabbed a vital, if somewhat fortunate, win Monday against promotion rivals Energie Cottbus, and solidified their position in third place in the 2. Bundesliga table.
The first half got off to a scrappy start. Both Bochum and Cottbus seemed afraid of making the first mistake in this promotion six-pointer. Not surprisingly the level of football that was produced on the pitch was at times underwhelming.
Cottbus with possession, Bochum with the chances
Energie Cottbus had most of the ball during the first half, attaining 63% of possession within the first 45 minutes, but failed to produce any chances worth mentioning. Bochum on their hand produced three half decent scoring chances during the same interval, but could not convert.
The second half didn’t see an improvement of the performance on the pitch. The game was ultimately decided by a brilliant shot by Giovanni Federico. In the 71st minute Austrian international Ümit Korkmaz found himself on the right wing, fought off challenges from two opposition players, and found Federico who put the ball into the right bottom corner past Cottbus goalkeeper Torsten Kirschbaum. This was fifth goal of the campaign for the 30 year-old veteran midfielder, who rejoined Bochum over the winter break.
Federico started his senior career with Bochum in 1999, and has played for FC Koln, Borussia Dortmund, Karslruher SC and Arminia Bielefeld before returning to his original team. With his timely goal, Bochum have now closed the gap to second place Augsburg to two points, and trail 2. Bundesliga leaders Hertha Berlin by only 4 points. Friedhelm Funkel’s excellent record as a 2. Bundesliga coach looks to continue, as the club from the Ruhr-valley hopes to return to the Bundesliga next season. Cottbus have on their side lost touch to the top three teams in the 2. Bundesliga, and currently reside in sixth place in the table.
VfL Bochum: Luthe – Kopplin, Maltritz, Yahia, Ostrzolek – Vogt, Johansson(Frederico 66min), Dabrwoski, Azaouagh(Toski 90min) – Korkmaz, Chong Tese(Dedic 66min)
Energie Cottbus: Kirschbaum – Bittroff, Hünemeier, Brezsenska, Ziebig(Kronaveter 74min) – Roger(Soma 74min), Kruska, Adlung(Sörensen 74min), Reimerink, Shao – Petersen
2. Bundesliga talking points:
*VfL Osnabrück have fired their coach, Karsten Baumann, after their fourth consecutive defeat. Following this weekend’s 1-3 defeat to Alemania Aachen, former Osnabrück player Joe Enochs, 39, will take over the team from northern-Germany. The California native played in over 350 matches for Osnabrück between 1996 and 2008, and broke the club record for appearances for the Lilly Whites in 2007.
Following his career at Sacramento State, Enochs signed with St. Pauli before joining Osnabrück. This will be Enochs first head coaching position. Osnabrück are currently in 16th place, one point ahead of RW Oberhausen, but trail FC Ingolstadt and Karlruher SC by only two points.
* FC Ergebirge Aue and SpVgg Greuther Fürth played to a 0-0 draw this weekend, and they now trail third place Bochum by four and five points, respectively.
* Edson Buddle got another start for Ingolstadt in their 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin. Ingolstadt are now two points clear of the relegation spots, while Buddle heads to the USMNT training camp in Cary,North Carolina, hoping to see action in upcoming friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay during the international break.
* MSV Duisburg grabbed their first victory after the cup semi-final. German-American David Yelldell kept a clean sheet in the Zebras 1-0 victory, and enters the USMNT training camp on a high note for his debut with the American team.
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