Predicting a tough match, Markus Babbel was absolutely correct as VfB overcome Bochum with a late goal by Serdar Tasci to win 2-1.
After the two-week break, the VfB coach made a few changes to his lineup using Matthieu Delpierre and Martin Lanig for Khalid Boulahrouz and Sami Khedira respectively. Die Bochumer, anxious in their relegation battle, showed the first attacking measures and VfB did well to hold back their early threats. Joël Epalle's effort fifteen minutes in threatened but stayed clear of the netting and thereafter Jens Lehmann was forced into a series of key saves. The match went to the break scoreless with the hosts Bochum looking more of a menace.
Quickly after the restart they continued their dominance as Epalle scored only three minutes in to send the Bochum crowd into a frenzy. Continuing to attack Christoph Dabrowski came close a few minutes later and it seemed like VfB was ready to drop. However just before the hour Cacau leveled the match as he headed-in Thomas Hitzlsperger's corner that had sent on by Martin Lanig. Now level both sides were attack heavy and threatened at either end. Looking like the match was headed for a draw, Markus Babbel made one last substitution bringing Élson in for Roberto Hilbert with a minute left. The impact was swift as he was involved in the final link up of play along with Thomas Hitzlsperger and Martin Lanig as Serdar Tasci closed out the scoring chance from close range to give VfB the 2-1 victory.
The win now has VfB into a Europa League spot but with eyes beading down on Hamburg who they play next week.
Photo Credit: VfB Stuttgart 1893 e. V. (Herbert Rudel)