Second-tier Dusseldorf smash Bochum to stand on verge of promotion to Bundesliga


Second-tier Dusseldorf smash Bochum to stand on verge of promotion to Bundesliga

Dusseldorf look to be on the verge of reaching the Bundesliga
Dusseldorf look to be on the verge of reaching the BundesligaAFP
It’s advantage Fortuna Dusseldorf in this Bundesliga promotion/relegation play-off, as the second-tier side beat top-flight Bochum 3-0 away from home - just their second success at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion since February 1990.

Fortuna are one of only three teams in the 15 prior Bundesliga play-offs to have gained promotion, but to become the first to do it since Union Berlin in 2018/19, they would need to defy the odds.

A huge stroke of luck helped them on their way in the opening stages, when Christos Tzolis’ near post corner caught everyone by surprise, crashed back off the post and trickled over the line via an unfortunate Philipp Hofmann deflection.

Another fortuitous passage of play kept Fortuna ahead, as just moments later Bernardo headed Kevin Stöger’s corner onto the post.

Bochum fans watch on disappointedly
Bochum fans watch on disappointedlyAFP

The visitors’ goal was living a charmed life approaching the break and their net was rippling at one point, but fortunately for the 2. Bundesliga side it was only because Stöger’s wicked free-kick brushed the side netting.

As easily as they could’ve been level at the break, Bochum could also have been two behind when a swift counter on the stroke of HT resulted in Vincent Vermeij flashing an effort across the face of goal.

Dusseldorf fans during the match
Dusseldorf fans during the matchAFP

A deficit at the break left the hosts with a mountain to climb after the restart, not least because Fortuna hadn’t lost a league game they’d led at HT all season.

At 1-0, the Blues were still in the game, but only a sensational save from stand-in goalkeeper Andreas Luthe within five minutes of the restart to deny Felix Klaus kept them in the game.

He was powerless shortly after the hour mark to prevent Fortuna from extending their lead though, as a lightning-quick counter ended with Tzolis threading an inch-perfect ball through for Klaus, who finished with aplomb in front of the raucous travelling support.

Dusseldorf celebrate Klaus' goal
Dusseldorf celebrate Klaus' goalAFP

Fortuna were at risk of running riot when they added a third through Yannik Engelhardt, as he tapped into an empty net after Luthe only half-parried Tzolis’ free-kick.

The situation could’ve been a whole lot worse for Bochum, who survived a late scare when Klaus crashed an effort against the crossbar, but three goals behind in the tie, most of the damage was already done for the hosts, who are now staring down the barrel of a return to the second tier.

Dusseldorf players applaud their fans after the match
Dusseldorf players applaud their fans after the matchAFP

The picture is much more positive for Fortuna though, who have one foot in the Bundesliga as they eye a return for the first time since 2019/20.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Christos Tzolis (Fortuna Dusseldorf)

See a summary of the match here


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