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Fighting Bochum shock Düsseldorf on penalties to stay in Bundesliga

Bochum players celebrate their relegation after winning the penalty shoot-out following the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa

Visiting Bochum defeated Fortuna Düsseldorf 6-5 on penalties on Monday after a extraordinary comeback from 3-0 down after the first leg of a play-off tie to keep their place in the Bundesliga.

Takashi Uchino fired Düsseldorf's seventh penalty of the shoot-out over the bar after Bochum's Maximilian Wittek had converted for Bochum.

Düsseldorf had appeared in command of the relegation/promotion tie after winning the first leg 3-0 in Bochum on Thursday but Bochum roared back to level the tie at 3-3 from Philipp Hofmannn's 16th and 66th-minute brace and a 70th minute penalty from Kevin Stöger.

There were no goals in extra time and the shoot-out also went beyond the five attempts per team with the score locked at 4-4 as Bochum goalkeeper Andreas Luthe saved from Andre Hofmann and Düsseldorf's Florian Kastenmeier from Erhan Masovic.

But Bochum eventually prevailed in what was the biggest ever comeback in the 26th overall edition of the play-off tie. Bundesliga sides have prevailed in 13 of the 16 ties since the play-off were re-introduced in 2009.

"It is unbelievable. Everything seemed to go against us and no one would bet on us. I am extremely proud of the lads to perform like this after the first leg," Bochum managing director Patrick Fabian told Sky TV.

Düsseldorf board member for sport Klaus Allofs said: "We have a young team and they weren't awarded. We will try again next season. Bochum had nothing to lose."

Düsseldorf had come third place in the second division with a run of 14 games without defeat. Bochum slipped to third last in the Bundesliga on the final matchday with defeat at Werder Bremen, coupled with Union Berlin's last gasp win against Freiburg.

But Bochum now stay in the Bundesliga for a fourth straight season while Düsseldorf missed a top flight return after four years.

Bochum goalkeeper Andreas Luthe celebrates after winning the penalty shoot-out following the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum goalkeeper Andreas Luthe celebrates after winning the penalty shoot-out following the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Anthony Losilla celebrates after winning the penalty shoot-out following the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Cristian Gamboa celebrates after winning the penalty shoot-out following the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Kevin Stoeger celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Kevin Stoeger celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Philipp Hofmann (C) celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Marius Becker/dpa
Bochum's Philipp Hofmman (R) celebrates scoring his side's first goal with teammate Ivan Ordets during the German Bundesliga Relegation second leg soccer match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and VfL Bochum at Merkur Spiel-Arena. Roland Weihrauch/dpa