VfL Bochum – Eintracht Braunschweig review

Hinterseer’s brace keeps all points in Bochum

Robin Dutt sent his squad on the pitch in the expected 4-2-3-1 system and VfL was the game defining team from the beginning. Braunschweig, on the other side, played in a 4-2-2-2 system, but Torsten Lieberknecht chose a strange solution to replace key striker Nyman. Abdullahi started in the Swede’s position and Reichel on the half left, with Kijewski left back. Basically, Eintracht played with two full backs on the left side, although there was also Zuck available, who would have brought more creativity.

Bochum had the better start, benefiting from the midfield numerical advantage (3v2), as Eintracht’s strikers didn’t drop to help, and took their positions in the opposite half, with Stöger enjoying a lot of freedom between the opposition’s lines. He often appeared left or right to disrupt the guests’ defense. VfL moved the ball quickly in attack, with Kruse roaming to the center, or even to the left, but the hosts couldn’t find solutions in the last third. A forward run by Losilla was very close to create danger, but Braunschweig’s defense blocked in time. When Eintracht regained possession, there were only long balls to the strikers, as they were trying to skip the build up phase. The two wingers were almost unemployed.

The guests seemed to balance the game after 15 minutes, but their possession was mainly in the halfway line zone. Bochum mirrored Eintracht’s system when defending (4-4-2) and easily blocked the passing angles. Suddenly, the lions’ defense was caught napping. Fejzic started the play with a long pass, Bochum gained possession in an aerial duel, the ball was quickly played to Stöger, free between the lines. He had all the time in the world to send a perfect pass behind Braunschweig’s defense, where Hinterseer found himself standing free against the goalkeeper and couldn’t fail from 6 meters.

As there was no reaction from the guests, it was still Bochum on the trigger, with a very intelligent strategy. Braunschweig attackers were immediately isolated by VfL’s defenders, limiting their options, forcing them to pass backwards and considerably slowing down the attacking moves. During the offensive phase Bochum avoided high passes, as they would have had no chance against strong Valsvik and Tingager. Instead, they tried to pass the ball behind Braunschweig’s defensive line. This happened at the 1-0 goal and again shortly before half time, when Celozzi crossed from deep towards Hinterseer, who arrived at full speed in front of the goal, coming from a half left position, but headed centimeters wide. Bochum also missed a penalty kick, after an unnecessary foul from Kijewski on Kruse at the edge of the area, in a harmless position. In this scene Tesche advanced in a very offensive position, without marking and was able to play a one – two pass with Kruse.

Torsten Lieberknecht immediately changed after the penalty kick, replacing Kijewski with Hofmann. Reichel moved as left back and Abdullahi took his regular place on the left side. There was no impact after this change, Hofmann was very strong in the air, he created space for his colleagues, but not in the dangerous area.

VfL withdrew after the break, trying to defend the advantage and hit on the break. They always tried to increase the pace in the last third, with a lot of movement from wingers Sam and Kruse, but Eintracht managed to offer them less time on the ball and block the attacks before becoming dangerous. In attack, the guests played again a lot of high balls, Hofmann won several duels, but the space he had created was not synchronized with any forward runs.

Losilla and Tesche played an excellent passing game (84%, respectively 93% successful passes), so Stöger was not required to drop to receive the ball and could keep an advanced position behind Eintracht’s midfield line, most of the time unguarded. From that zone he controlled all VfL’s attacks, creating another two very dangerous situations, with Sam and Kruse constantly moving into space to create passing options. They often appeared in the center, sometimes both acted on the same side, outnumbering the guest’s defense.

Braunschweig managed to create a single good scoring chance. After a misunderstanding between Celozzi and Gyamerah, Abdullahi had won the ball and ran into the box, with slight pressure from Gyamerah. Kumbela was waiting in the middle of the box, Hoogland was outnumbered and easily outplayed by Abdullahi’s pass to the 11m spot, but the veteran’s shot hit the post. Eintracht wanted to go all out attack in the final minutes, with the defensive line in the opposite half. This meant huge free space left behind, so Bochum scored for 2-0 through Hinterseer, after a quick counter attack. Although the hosts lost the order a little bit and couldn’t keep possession in the end, they defended without many problems the deserved lead over the final whistle.


Key Scenes

24th min: Fejzic starts the play with a long pass, but Kumbela losses the aerial duel with Losilla. The ball arrives at Kruse, who changed sides with Sam and heads it immediately to Stöger. The playmaker is allowed a lot of time on the ball and space to advance. Tingager finally decides to attack him, while Valsvik defends far from Hinterseer trying to block the angle for the offensive pass. But Stöger pulls on a magic through pass, Valsvik hesitates, although he seems well positioned and Hinterseer is suddenly 1v1 with Fejzic. From 6m the striker cannot fail – 1-0.

33rd min: Kruse, in a central position, unmarked, receives a pass from Stöger, who plays this scene on the right wing. Tesche advances undisturbed by the opponents at the edge of the area and becomes a great passing option. He replies to Kruse with a first touch pass down the channel, which outplays Kijewski. The left back has a moment of blackout and makes an unnecessary foul – penalty kick for Bochum. Stöger shoots on Fejzic’s left side, the goalkeeper guesses the corner and deflects the ball wide with his fingertips.

45th min: Sam moves from left to center down the halfway line and passes to Kruse, also in a central position, unmarked. The right flank is free for Celozzi to advance and receive the ball. Bochum’s captain moves forward undisturbed, Sam also appears, unmarked, to provide a passing option. Reichel is in a 1v2 situation, very difficult to defend, so he hesitates whether to attack Bochum’s right back or not, knowing Sam is free to receive the ball. As a result of this indecision, Celozzi is offered enough time without pressure on the ball, so he crosses in front of the goal, behind Braunschweig’s central defenders. Hinterseer is faster than Sauer and reches the ball first, but heads wide from a must score position.

63rd min: Tesche wins an aerial duel in midfield and passes forward to Stöger, free between the lines. Hinterseer makes a fake run from half left to the center of the box and Sauer follows him. This move frees space for Sam to receive the pass on the left side and enter the penalty box. Eintracht’s central defenders are outplayed by Stöger’s fine pass, so Sauer tries to block Sam, leaving Hinterseer free. Sam passes towards his colleague for another 1v1 with the goalkeeper situation, but Valsvik clarifies with a desperate effort.

65th min: Losilla regains possession in his own half, Hochscheidt and Boland cannot block him, are both outplayed and the pass obviously goes to Stöger, again unmarked, between the lines. He plays a lighting fast forward pass on the right side, where Kruse accelerates past Reichel, the first touch is perfect, he enters the penalty box and only has the goalkeeper to beat, but Fejzic comes out a brilliantly closes him down.

70th min: Valsvik sends a long pass down the left side from his own half, where Abdullahi is in a duel with Celozzi and Gyamerah. There is a misunderstanding between Bochum’s defenders, who fail to clarify despite good positioning, so Eintracht’s attacker takes the ball has free way to the box. Hoogland is 1v2 with Braunschweig’s attackers and is easily taken out of the game with a simple pass towards the penalty spot. Kumbela is there, receives the ball, but his shot hits the post.

82nd min: The guests are all out attack, with the defenders in the opposite half, but Reichel misplaces an offensive pass. Eisfeld regains possession and sends a long pass to Hinterseer, standing unmarked, who runs in free space. Valsvik is very advanced trying to help the attack, so the Austrian is 1v1 with Tingager. He easily fools the defender, shoots in the far corner from a central position and decides the game – 2-0.


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