Bochum Secures Bundesliga 2023-24 Status in Thrilling Penalty Shootout Victory Against Dusseldorf

Bochum clinched their spot in the Bundesliga for next season after an exhilarating penalty shootout victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off second leg.

The match, held at Dusseldorf’s home ground, saw Bochum overturn a daunting three-goal deficit from the first leg, leading 3-0 at full-time and eventually triumphing in penalties following a goalless extra period.

Bochum Secures Bundesliga 2023-24 Status in Thrilling Penalty Shootout Victory Against Dusseldorf

Bochum’s Remarkable Comeback

Bochum faced an uphill battle after losing 3-0 in the first leg at home. However, a stellar performance by midfielder Kevin Stoeger, who is out of contract, reignited their hopes. Stoeger was instrumental, assisting in two goals and converting a crucial penalty. By full-time, Bochum had equalized the aggregate score to 3-3, pushing the match into extra time and subsequently to a penalty shootout.

Penalty Shootout Drama

The penalty shootout was a tense affair. Bochum’s goalkeeper, Andreas Luthe, made a crucial save on Dusseldorf’s first attempt, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. Despite a save from Dusseldorf’s Florian Kastenmeier, which kept their hopes alive, the shootout continued with players from both teams converting their penalties. The decisive moment came when Takashi Uchino missed Dusseldorf’s seventh penalty, ensuring Bochum’s place in the top flight for a fourth consecutive season.

Reactions and Highlights

Dusseldorf’s sporting director, Klaus Allofs, expressed his disappointment, saying, “We were in such a good position, we were so close, that’s why it hurts even more. We didn’t play well, but I don’t know why — we have no idea.”

In contrast, Bochum’s sporting director, Patrick Fabian, celebrated the victory: “Incredible, that topped it all off as far as the season is concerned. I’m incredibly proud of the boys.”

Match Overview

The relegation play-off system pits the team finishing third from bottom in the Bundesliga against the third-placed team in the second division in a two-leg tie. Dusseldorf, unbeaten in the second division since February, entered the match with high confidence following their dominant first-leg performance.

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Fans of Dusseldorf displayed a giant tifo reading “Fortuna Wins” before the match, but Bochum had other plans. Kevin Stoeger, a former Düsseldorf player, set up Philipp Hofmann for two headed goals, bringing Bochum back into contention. Stoeger then won and converted a penalty to complete Bochum’s comeback, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

Extra Time and Penalties

Despite a clear chance for Takuma Asano to seal the victory in the final minutes of regular time, the match progressed to extra time. Both teams, exhausted and suffering from cramps, struggled to create opportunities in the additional 30 minutes.

The match’s intensity peaked in the 118th minute when Jona Niemiec was denied twice in quick succession, leading to the penalty shootout—the first in a relegation play-off since 1988.

Historical Context

Bochum’s triumph continues the trend favoring Bundesliga teams in relegation play-offs. Since the play-off system was reintroduced in the 2008-09 season, first-division sides have won all but three encounters.


Bochum’s dramatic victory ensures their presence in the Bundesliga for another season, while Dusseldorf must regroup and aim for promotion again next year. This match will be remembered for its thrilling comeback, outstanding individual performances, and the high stakes typical of relegation play-offs.

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