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Bochum survives playoff to stay in Bundesliga

DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Bochum clinched Bundesliga survival by coming from three goals down and winning a penalty shootout 6-5 to thwart Fortuna Düsseldorf’s promotion bid on Monday.

Second division club Düsseldorf was 3-0 up from the first leg of their playoff on Thursday, but Philipp Hofmann scored twice and Kevin Stöger converted a penalty for Bochum to win the second leg 3-0.

“Everyone wrote us off after the first game and that gave us even more motivation, to create history, to do something incredible,” said Hofmann, who scored an own goal in the first leg.

It left the teams level at 3-3 on aggregate. Düsseldorf came closest to scoring in extra time and Bochum held on thanks to a number of goal-line clearances.

Veteran goalkeeper Andreas Luthe saved Andre Hoffmann’s first effort for Düsseldorf in the shootout, and counterpart Florian Kastenmeier also made a save for the home team.

“We’re all heroes today,” said Stöger, who set up both of Hofmann’s goals and scored in the shootout.

It left the pressure on Düsseldorf’s Takashi Uchino. The young Japanese defender sent his spot kick high over the goal along with his team’s hopes. Düsseldorf coach Daniel Thioune tried consoling the inconsolable player.

Bochum finished third from bottom in the Bundesliga, while Düsseldorf was third in the second division.

Bochum goalkeeper Andreas Luthe (front left) celebrates with teammates after winning a penalty shootout in a Bundesliga soccer match against Fortuna Duesseldorf in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday. PHOTO: DPA/AP
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