Borussia squanders title at home, Bayern champion
Borussia Dortmund squandered the national title in Germany on a bizarre final day. It played a 2-2 draw at home against FSV Mainz, while Bayern Munich won by a late goal at FC Köln. As a result, Bayern, which was second, is still champion, for the 11th time in a row.
It was a rare dramatic afternoon of soccer. Leaders Dortmund had enough of a win at home for their first national title since 2012. But within half an hour they were already trailing 0-2, man-of-the-season Sébastien Haller had missed a penalty and rival Bayern Munich was ahead.
For more than an hour, Dortmund, which featured Dutchman Donyell Malen in the starting lineup, besieged Mainz’s half of the game, knowing it had to score three goals. It failed to do so. Yet for a moment there was hope in Dortmund, when Köln drew 1-1 against Bayern just before time, but young talent Jamal Musiala shot his club to the national title in the 89th minute.
Both teams finish with 71 points, but the Munich club can boast a better goal difference: +54 to +39.
Last weeks exciting battle unfolded at the top of the Bundesliga. It looked like Bayern had forfeited title prolongation last week when it lost at home to RB Leipzig and Haller shot Dortmund to the lead.
However, things turned out completely differently. From now on in Dortmund, don’t even get me started on that one Saturday afternoon on May 27, 2023.
The fireworks in Dortmund were grand prior to the “championship game” and cardboard bowls went around the stands. This could not go wrong anymore.
Dortmund started, encouraged by the tireless fans on the Gelbe Wand, began the game furiously and had already had some chances, when Cologne’s speedy winger Kingsley Coman curled the ball cleverly into the far cross. 0-0 at Dortmund, 1-0 at Bayern, a score in which Bayern was virtual champions on goal difference.
It fell dead silent in Dortmund when Mainz also took a 0-1 lead after 15 minutes of play through a slick header by Andreas Hanche-Olsen. Did Dortmund suddenly have to make it two.
Die Schwarzgelben soon got help from VAR, after referee Fritz missed that Raphael Guerreiro had received a tap to the lower leg. Pingel. Haller got behind the ball, but the man of the story this year at Borussia shot his first penalty of the season weakly. A piece of cake for Mainz goalie Finn Dahmen.
It became even more painful when Karim Onisiwo headed his club Mainz to 0-2 outlaw shortly after. In Munich, Bayern fans were already exuberantly waving their cardboard championship bowls. In Dortmund, Borussia fans preferred to sink through their seats.
The siege of the Mainz goal lasted at least an hour. The chances for the home side were huge. Again for Haller, who slipped in and missed the ball in front of an open goal. For Malen, who suddenly got the ball at his feet, but squandered the chance. He was brought to the side immediately after.
Bayern Munich saw in Cologne that the home team was playing increasingly boldly. Leaning back was not possible, Bayern also simply had to win, because in case of a draw or defeat Dortmund was champion regardless of their own result.
Dortmund virtual champion
Only twenty minutes before time a wave of excitement swept through Dortmund. A smooth combination ended with a quick shot by Guerreiro, which went in with the help of the post: 2-1. With two goals to go for Dortmund, many chances came again. Marco Reus, who had replaced the failed Adeyemi, with the head and also Haller with the head. But no 2-2.
And then suddenly loud cheers sounded from the stands in Dortmund. FC Köln had reached 1-1 thanks to a penalty that had been used. Was Dortmund suddenly virtually back on top after all. The joy was enormous, as was the relief. The Dortmund fans had aged at least ten years in an hour.
Dortmund was one minute and some injury time away from its first national title since 2012. Until, in Cologne, Musiala, who had now fallen in there, hijacked the ball to his right leg in the 89th minute and curled it into the far corner with precision.
At the Signal Iduna Park stadium, the Dortmund fans pulled away looking deathly pale and knew enough. Haller seemed to shoot in the 2-2 early in injury time with a fine half-strike, but he was offside. The 2-2 made by Niklas Süle in the 96th minute gave hope that lingered for another half minute. Until the final whistle sounded.
At Bayern they went to beer, at Borussia there were tears, on the for them cursed May 27, 2023.