1. FC Nürnberg came from behind to defeat VfL Bochum at the Max-Morlock Stadion, as der Club remained with the pace in the 2. Bundesliga promotion challenge during English Week.
Dimitrios Diamantakos gave Ismail Atalan's travelling Bochum side an early lead from the spot, after Enrico Valentini handled within the box. However, Nürnberg were soon on level terms, as Eduard Löwen swept the ball home, after Felix Dornebusch parried Mikael Ishak's shot.
Der Club captain, Hanno Behrens, gave Michael Köllner's Franconian side an early second half lead as he headed home Valentini's cross, before Nürnberg were awarded a penalty of their own, which Ishak missed but scored from the rebound to complete the scoring.
Löwen spares Valentini's blushes
Nürnberg had scored six away at MSV Duisburg during the last 2. Bundesliga matchday and started in a similar attacking vein at the Max-Morlock Stadion on Thursday evening. Valentini should have done much better after Lucas Hufnagel provided the former Karlsruher SC man with a promising position, but the 28-year-old blazed his eventual volleyed effort high over Dornebusch in the Bochum goal.
Things soon went from bad to worse for the Italian defender, Valentini, as shortly after he had missed a guilt edge chance, he afforded Atalan's side a chance to take the lead from twelve yards out. Appealing for offside, der Club's right back inadvertently handled the ball as Robbie Kruse attempted to cross the ball, leaving referee, Florian Heft, no other choice than to point to the penalty spot. Fresh from scoring in Bochum's last away win at SV Darmstadt 98, Diamantakos took the resulting effort, making no mistake as he sent Fabian Bredlow the wrong way and placed his effort low into the bottom right corner.
Kruse proved a bright spark throughout for Bochum. Plagued with injuries during his time with Bayer Leverkusen, the Australian has regained his form in the Ruhrpot, scoring the winner in the aforementioned victory at the Stadion am der Böllenfalltor. The 28-year-old also tested Bredlow during the opening half, but the Nürnberg 'keeper was a match to his low left footed effort.
Köllner's Nürnberg side however are the 2. Bundesliga's third joint highest goalscorers, with thirteen already in the league. So it came as no surprise when it didn't take long for the Franconian side to be back on level terms following Diamantakos' opener. Ishak's tame effort from the edge of the box was parried by Dornebusch straight into the path of a grateful Löwen, who swept the ball into the back of the net at the first time of asking. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder with his third of the campaign, in what is proving to be a break-out season for the product of der Club's academy system.
Ishak could have counted himself unlucky not to have gotten on the scoresheet himself, during the first half. Seeing his shot saved in the build-up to Löwen's goal, the former 1. FC Köln striker had previously seen a goal bound effort deflected by Bochum captain, Tim Fabian. Signed from Danish side, Randers FC, in January, the Swedish striker has proven useful so far in der Club's maroon; with a hat-trick in the demolition of the Zebras, Duisburg, a particular highlight.
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Behrens and Ishak complete the scoring
Valentini had proven archetypal in Bochum's first half opener, but at the start of the second half the Italian was involved for the right reasons, as he set up Behrens for der Club's second of the match. From a wide right position, the 28-year-old delivered a pin-point cross onto the head of the Nürnberg captain, Behrens, who diverted his header beyond Dornebusch and into the bottom left corner.
Moments before Behrens' goal, Atalan's side could have taken the lead themselves, only for Bredlow to well save at his near post from Kevin Stöger's left footed free-kick. Substitute Johannes Würtz also flashed an effort just over the Nürnberg crossbar.
Kevin Möhwald wasted a good chance to extended der Club's lead, but the former Rot-Weiß Erfurt midfielder blasted his shot, from the edge of the box, high beyond the goal and into the small band of Bochum fans, who had made the long journey from North-Rhine Westphalia on Thursday evening.
In the absence of regular first team defenders, Felix Bastians and Tim Hoogland, 19-year-old Maxim Leitsch had put in a performance well beyond his meager age. However, with little over ten minutes remaining, Leitsch was culpable as Nürnberg were awarded the chance to end the contest after the young defender handled the ball inside the box, resulting in the second penalty of the match. Ishak saw his first effort saved, but the Swedish striker swept the rebound into the net as a helpless Dornebusch lay prone on the floor.
It has been Bochum's inability to stop the opposition from scoring that has lay at the root of Atalan's problems, as the North-Rhine Westphalian side are without a clean sheet in the 2. Bundesliga so far this campaign. The fact that der Club, Nürnberg, were able to score on three ocassions on Thursday evening with just five shots on target, was crucial in why Bochum returned to the Ruhrpot empty handed.