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Bochum leave drop zone with 3-2 win against Hoffenheim

VfL Bochum have temporarily left the Bundesliga drop zone with a 3-2 home win against Hoffenheim.

They now sit three points above the danger zone, but could go back if 16th-placed Mainz defeat Cologne, another relegation candidate, on Sunday.

Bochum were denied by goalkeeper Oliver Baumann and hit the crossbar in the first six minutes on Friday night before breaking the deadlock in the 34th thanks to a brilliant free-kick by Kevin Stöger.

Felix Passlack added a second shortly before the break, while Stöger completed his brace in the 64th.

Hoffenheim, who had a penalty call overturned in the 23rd, pulled one back with Andrej Kramaric in the 73rd and Bochum held their breath when the Croatian striker chipped the ball over keeper Manuel Riemann to give the guests hopes of taking at least a point.

But Bochum held on for a massive three points and even had chances to make their advantage safer.

"I think everyone here was relieved. It was a great game, not easy in the end, but it was a deserved win," Stöger told broadcasters DAZN.

The defeat was a big blow to Hoffenheim's goal of playing in the Conference League next season. They are now six points from the qualification spot.

"In the end, they deserved to win. Unfortunate that we only played football in the last 20 minutes. Anything was possible in the final 20 minutes, but in the end they deserved to win," Kramaric told DAZN.