North Korea international Jong Tae-Se scored his third goal of the season for VfL Bochum against Arminia Bielefeld as the German second division side snapped its three-match losing streak. Having been without a win for almost a month, Bochum were floundering in the Bundesliga II relegation zone prior to the round five match against Bielefeld, but Jong came to Friedhelm Funkel‘s rescue in his first start in three matches with an inspirational performance.
The win boosted Bochum up to 11th on the league table with full three points ahead of 15th place Bielefeld. Budesliga II consists of 18 clubs, with top three being promoted to the top-flight Bundesliga while the bottom four are relegated at the end of the season.
Jong, who seemed to have fallen out of favor after being used as a second-half substitute in Bochum’s last two matches, regained his starting solitary striker role in Funkel’s 4-5-1. He started the match brightly in the 19th minute as his run through the middle followed by a well-slotted forward pass to Giovanni Federico led to Paul Freier’s go-ahead goal.
The home side lost the lead ten minutes later when former Germany international Oliver Neuville‘s powerful free-kick from 30 yards was mishandled by goalkeeper Andreas Luthe, but went back ahead five minutes before half-time after midfielder Christoph Dabrowski‘s header following Freier’s free-kick found the net.
Jong sealed the deal for Bochum with a sublime finish in the 62nd minute when he got to the end of the ball that lobbed over the top. He beat the Bielefeld goalkeeper Dennis Eilhoff on his first touch and scored from an acute angle with his momentum shifting towards the byline.
“I’m happy that I got my confidence back,” said Jong to Bochum’s official website after the match. “After losing the last three matches, it was really important to win the match today. I’m more happy with the win than the goal I scored.”
The 26 year-old joined Bochum this summer on a fee of €250 thousand after four seasons with the Japanese outfit Kawasaki Frontale. The goal against Bielefeld was a much needed one for the player as he has lost his starting job in the previous two matches to Turkish forward Mahir Saglik.
Match highlights (Jong’s goal starts at 3:20)