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Fortuna Düsseldorf Takes Commanding Lead in Bundesliga Playoff with 3-0 Win Over Bochum

Fortuna Düsseldorf Takes Commanding Lead in Bundesliga Playoff with 3-0 Win Over Bochumillustration

Fortuna Düsseldorf secured a significant 3-0 victory against Bochum in the first leg of their relegation/promotion playoff on Thursday, moving closer to a return to Germany's top division.

Despite the presence of Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka in the stands to support his former club Bochum, the home side struggled to make an impact. Bochum defender Philipp Hofmann inadvertently gave Düsseldorf the lead in the 13th minute when Christos Tzolis' corner hit the near post and rebounded off Hofmann's thigh into the net.

Düsseldorf extended their lead in the 64th minute with a swift counterattack. Tzolis played a crucial role again, setting up Felix Klaus to score and make it 2-0. The visitors sealed their comprehensive win in the 72nd minute when Yannik Engelhardt netted the rebound from Tzolis' free kick.

Bochum's recent poor form continued with this defeat, marking their third consecutive loss since their 4-3 victory at Union Berlin, which had briefly raised hopes of avoiding the relegation playoff. Union Berlin secured their Bundesliga status on the final day with a win over Freiburg, while Bochum suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at Werder Bremen.

Bochum finished the Bundesliga season in 16th place, just above relegated Darmstadt and Cologne, and now faces the challenge of overcoming a three- deficit in the second leg to retain their top-flight status. Meanwhile, Düsseldorf, who finished third in the 2. Bundesliga, is aiming for promotion after being relegated in 2000, ending a brief two-season stint in the Bundesliga.

The decisive second leg of the playoff will take place in Düsseldorf on Monday.

and Holstein Kiel have already secured their spots in the Bundesliga for next season by finishing first and second in the 2. Bundesliga, respectively.

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