Even a few gentlemen in the press gallery were absolutely delighted with “their” VfL Bochum. They suffered, drummed on the tables when chances were missed and cheered loudly at Bochum goals. It was wonderfully played, wonderful, simply wonderful, was the comment. “That was played really well.” It almost sounded as if VfL were going to do great things in the European Cup. Or at least in the Bundesliga. On Saturday, however, Bochum played in the first round of the DFB Cup against the regional league team Viktoria Berlin.
After 90 minutes, Bochum had solved their mandatory task with confidence. With 3:0 (2:0) they prevailed against the Berliners in the Jahnstadion in Prenzlauer Berg in front of 5573 spectators. Anything is possible in the cup, but VfL was a few sizes too big for the regional league team and Berlin Cup winners.
The Berliners wanted to prove, at least in the first few minutes, that they were willing to play here and why not win this cup game! Less than 20 seconds had passed on the clock when Bochum coach Thomas Reis turned angrily in the direction of his assistant. It wasn’t satisfied. The very young Berlin team ran and pushed the guests deep into their own penalty area.
These first brisk seconds were – unfortunately from Berlin’s point of view – the strongest “phase” of the third division relegated team in the first half. From then on, Bochum dominated the encounter. The pattern was mostly the same: They ran diligently behind, then came the cross – almost always beaten by Kevin Stöger – and in the middle the great Philipp Hofmann and Simon Zoller alternately headed the ball over the goal.
The Bochum fans didn’t care. They came in large numbers, the weather was nice and their song, the Grönemeyer classic “Bochum”, was even played before the game. But they didn’t have to wait too long before they were allowed to cheer. After 19 minutes, Simon Zoller threw in the lead after Gerrit Holtmann’s preparatory work.
Viktoria’s playmaker Enes Küc, who had to be substituted injured in the 50th minute, reacted angrily and started a splendid dribbling right after the kick-off. Pressed by Bochum’s defence, he stumbled just before the penalty area. But this was not enough for referee Patrick Alt, his whistle remained silent. All the more bitter for the Berliners was the goal they conceded to make it 2-0 shortly afterwards. Takumo Asano scored from just a few yards after clever preliminary work by Hofmann. The game felt like it was decided. This was also noticeable at the beer stands, queues suddenly formed.
In the second half, the action at the beer stalls ebbed away again. Bochum didn’t do much anymore, became careless. Viktoria boldly played forward, but when they got there, coach Semih Keskin’s team lacked the calm and sometimes the brilliant idea to mark the goal. Christopher Theisen, for example, was just a blink of an eye away from scoring in the 70th minute. But the attentive Ivan Orderts poked the ball off his foot. So it came as it had to: After a cross from Zoller, Hofmann scored in the 65th minute to make it 3-0. “Played well, played really well,” was the response from the press gallery.