Bochum started the game brightly and went close after 10 minutes when Soma Novothny headed just wide from Gerrit Holtmann’s cross. It foreshadowed what was to come, as Bochum went ahead from an almost identical move. This time it was Robert Zulj with the delivery, and Jorge Meré put through his own net.
FC got better towards the end of the half, as Dominick Drexler headed over from close range after Kingsley Ehizibue’s cross. Drexler then shot straight at Patrick Drewes before the Bochum goalkeeper then did very well to deny Tolu Arokodare’s low effort. Despite FC’s late pressure at the end, there would be no reward.
The second half also started promisingly but quickly turned direction. A clinical counter from the visitors saw Holtmann tee up Tarsis Bonga, and he fired past Julian Krahl from 10 yards. That seemed to be the wake-up call that FC needed. Paul Grave had to be alert to deny Jannes Horn and then Frederik Sörensen’s long-range efforts.
FC did get a goal back with 17 minutes to go as Marius Wolf latched onto Jan Thielmann’s clever chip over the defence, with Wolf chipping the oncoming Grave. After Grave again denied Sörensen and FC continued to press, it would be Bochum who had the final word. Gabriel Cavar’s first-time effort from the edge of the box made it 3:1 from the visitors.
1. FC Köln (4-2-3-1): Krahl – Ehizibue (Cestic 46’), Sörensen, Meré, J. Horn – Rexhbecaj, Wolf – Clemens (Höger 46’), Drexler (Katterbach 46’), Thielmann – Tolu (Lemperle 63’).
VfL Bochum (4-2-3-1): Drewes (Grave 46’) – Bockhorn, Masovic, Bella-Kotchap, Römling (Kokovas 72’) – Chibsah (Holtkamp 46’), Maier (Cavar 72’) – Blum (Hartwig 72’), Zulj, Holtmann – Novothny (Bonga 46’).
Goals: 0:1, Jorge Meré OG 22’. 0:2, Bonga 51’. 1:2, Wolf 73’. 1:3, Cavar 87’.
Referee: Mitja Stegemann.
Bookings: Bockhorn (23’), Thielmann (75’), Wolf (83’).
€ 79.99 *