Thomas Reis opted for just two alterations after Pokal progression against 1. FSV Mainz 05. Christian Gamboa and Patrick Osterhage dropped to the bench as Konstantinos Stafylidis and Eduard Löwen came into the line-up.
Steffen Baumgart made six changes to the side that started the DFB-Pokal fixture against Hamburger SV on Tuesday night. Kingsley Ehizibue, Jannes Horn, Kingsley Schindler, Jan Thielmann, Sebastian Andersson and Mark Uth were replaced by Benno Schmitz, Salih Özcan, Florian Kainz, Louis Schaub, Ondrej Duda and Anthony Modeste.
The game began as expected, with two teams going head-to-head with no shortage of fight and passion. Milos Pantovic’s early effort was blocked by Jonas Hector before Marvin Schwäbe made a smart stop with his feet to keep out Anthony Losilla. Anthony Modeste fired wide at the other end whilst Luca Kilian went close with a header from six yards out.
Schwäbe was once again on hand to deny Gerrit Holtmann, who turned on the pace after a Bochum break. Modeste then had FC’s best chance of the game but couldn’t find the target with his weak foot following Dejan Ljubicic’s cut-back. At the other end, Bochum went ahead. Jürgen Locadia slipped in Holtmann and he sped through on goal to poke the ball through Schwäbe’s legs.
However, FC didn’t let their heads drop and equalised 10 minutes later. A corner from the right was headed goalwards by Salih Özcan but blocked, only to drop for Timo Hübers to rifle his first Bundesliga goal into the back of the net. Just before half-time, things got even better. Florian Kainz intercepted and immediately played Anthony Modeste in on goal. He kept his cool and chipped the back-peddling Manuel Riemann to give Baumgart’s side the lead
The second-half began as the first ended. Louis Schaub slipped in Jonas Hector as the FC captain fired wide from the edge of the area. Bochum then had a golden chance to get level. Holtmann’s curler was palmed away by Marvin Schwäbe, before Milos Pantovic collected and teed up Eduard Löwen. His effort from 10 yards was well over the crossbar, however.
Sebastian Polter replaced the injured Jürgen Locadia and had a great opportunity to grab the equalier, only to clip Danilo Soares’ cross off target. The pressure would pay off, though. A long throw-in wasn’t dealt with and Takuma Asano was on hand to sweep home from 12 yards to give the home fans the goal they had been craving.
The final 20 minutes saw plenty of effort on both sides but the final pass was lacking. Patrick Osterhage’s late opening was the only real moment of note, yet Schwäbe dealt with his effort comfortably.
FC now have a two-week break to look forward to after three games in seven days. After the pause in play, Steffen Baumgart’s men will take on SC Freiburg on 5th February at 15:30 CET in the RheinEnergieSTADION.
VfL Bochum (4-3-3): Riemann – Staylidis (Gamboa 65‘), Bella Kotchap, Leitsch, Danilo – Löwen, Losilla, Rexhbecaj (Osterhage 81‘) – Pantovic (Asano 65‘), Locadia (Polter 56‘), Holtmann (Antwei-Adjei 81‘).
1. FC Köln (4-1-3-2): Schwäbe – Schmitz (Ehizibue 80‘), Kilian, Hübers, Hector – Özcan – Kainz (Schindler 80‘), Ljubicic (Uth 65‘), Schaub (J. Horn 61‘) – Duda (Thielmann 61‘), Modeste.
Goals: 1:0, Holtmann 25‘. 1:1, Hübers 36‘. 1:2, Modeste 45‘. 2:2, Asano 70‘.
Referee: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck (Freiburg).
Booked: Hector (65’), J. Horn (85’), Uth (90+2’).
Attendance: 750 (sold-out).