Gladbach beat Bochum in play-off opener
Substitute Igor de Camargo struck in the 93rd minute, the Belgian scoring at the second attempt after goalkeeper Andreas Luthe had blocked his first effort, to give Moenchengladbach a slender 1-0 lead for the second leg.
Five-times German champions Moenchengladbach, who dominated the Bundesliga in the early 1970s, had looked doomed to relegation as they lay bottom of the 18-team Bundesliga with four matches to go.
However, they won three and drew one of their last four matches, including a 1-0 win over eventual champions Borussia Dortmund, to finish 16th and earn a two-leg play-off against Bochum who had Luthe to thank for keeping the score down.
Bochum, who finished third in the second division, are attempting to bounce back at the first attempt after going down last season.