31.08.2017Bayer 04

Werkself lose friendly against Bochum

Bayer 04 lose the friendly during the international break against VFL Bochum 2-1. While head coach Heiko Herrlich gave many of his reserves time on the pitch, the second division side from the Ruhr were clinical with their finishing particularly in the first half.

Since the start of the week Heiko Herrlich has had a much reduced squad at his disposal. Numerous Bayer 04 players are away on international duty or sidelined through injury. And that was still the case on Thursday afternoon in the friendly against VfL Bochum. While there were several established players in the starting line-up they had hardly or not at all been used in recent weeks. For example, Lars Bender. After a long injury lay-off the Bochum game was intended to give him an hour's match practice while his twin brother Sven was rested because of problems with his ribs. "It's good that Lars is finally able to train again without any problems. He did very well today and showed over 60 minutes what we expect of him. But we didn't want to take any risks of causing any new injury," explained Herrlich. 


The match at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium saw Bochum first out of the blocks and they had their first big chance after a minute. The Bayer 04 reserve keeper Ramazan Özcan was able to save the shot from the Bochum striker Johannes Wurtz. However, the former Austria goalkeeper had to pick the ball at the back of his net when VfL striker Lukas Hinterseer remained calm as he converted a cross from the right from close range to give the second division side a 1-0 lead on three minutes.

The Werkself, with U19 player Jan Boller in the side at right back, produced some attacking football at times but were unable to turn the created chances into goals as has been the case in recent matches. It was a different story for the team coached by Ismail Atalan: Bochum were uncompromising when they seized on loss of possession in the left midfield. Wurtz hit an unstoppable low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom left corner of the goal – 2-0 for the visitors on 19 minutes. Bender had the chance to pull a goal back with a powerful header just before the break but the Bochum keeper Felix Dornebusch was in top form as he pulled off a great reflex save to maintain his clean sheet. The Black and Reds went into the half-time break 2-0 down.


The 800 supporters of the match saw a flowing game of football in the second half with chances for both sides – and that was with Herrlich bringing on five more U19 players. The best chances for the Werkself came from a powerful free kick from Leon Bailey on 73 minutes and a long-range effort from substitute U19 player Ömer Tokac on 86 minutes but both shots hit the bar of the VfL goal. Marlon Frey had more luck for Bayer 04 on 69 minutes when he pulled a goal back with a fine shot from the left side of the penalty area into the far corner. Just before the end of the game reserve keeper Niklas Lomb prevented a third goal against the Werkself when he saved a point-blank header on the line. The game ended in a 2-1 defeat for Bayer 04. "Despite the many changes in the second half I'm happy with the performance – in contrast to the first half," was the analysis of Heiko Herrlich.

 Bayer 04: Özcan (Lomb 46’) – Boller (Stappmann 63’), Kohr, Ramalho – L. Bender (Shala 63’), Frey (Samoura 72’)– Bellarabi (Stanilewicz 46’), Wendell – Volland (Tokac 72’), Kießling, Bailey


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