Thursday, May 23, 2013

Germany & Swiss Cup Final May 2013

Three matches including the final league games at Darmstadt and Braunschweig plus the Swiss Cup Final in Bern.

Hallo Regionalliga.

18th May Darmstadt 1 Stuttgarter Kickers 1  3.Liga   13,600 (1,000 away)

Bright, sunny and mild weather welcomed a sizeable crowd to the old style stadion Bollenfalltor in Darmstadt for this relegation battle.

The home side started by pressing hard and it was rather against the run of play when Dicklhuber volleyed in left footed on 10 minutes to give the Kickers the lead.

Both teams, as indicated by their lowly league positions, lacked some quality.

Most of the danger created by the home side was from set pieces and they gradually got closer as the game moved into the second half.
Zimmerman went close and sub. da Costa hit the post before the Brazilian finished off from close range after Darmstadt pressure.

That equaliser enlivened the home fans and for the remaining ten minutes Darmstadt played with five forwards as they strived for a winner.
But to no avail and the large contingent from Stuttgart could celebrate.

Meanwhile the locals’ thoughts would turn to life in the Regionalliga next season.

Back in the centre I admired Ludwig’s column and then chose an early meal of chilli con carne followed by churros in a Mexican restaurant.

Hallo Bundesliga.

19th May Eintracht Braunschweig 2 FSV Frankfurt 2   2.Liga   21,000 (250 away)

Eintracht had already confirmed their place in the Bundesliga before this match so it was an afternoon of celebrations in Lower Saxony.

As I passed through the centre of town the palace was being prepared for the evening’s entertainment and the home fans were congregating nearby to get in the mood.

And in the (not unpleasant, single tier) stadium the balloons were blown up and the flags got ready.
The ultras produced their choreo in the packed terrace and the home side began with a goal in the second minute when Dennis Kruppke was put through.
But after that FSV had the edge and they equalised when Gorlitz drove in a left wing cross.

The visitors then went ahead just after half-time when  Australian Mathew Leckie broke down the left and crossed for Kapllani to convert.

Eintracht made some substitutions and that seemed to reinvigorate them culminating in a second for Kruppke - this time from a free kick.

But overall it is hard to see Braunschweig surviving in the top level without more quality players.

Not that that bothered the fans at the end of the match as they gathered around the perimeter to run on the pitch and celebrate promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in 28 years.

What do you hear said Master Po ?  I hear the Grasshopper(s)

20th May  Basel 1 Grasshoppers 1 (Grasshoppers won 4-3 on penalties)     27,290 (split about 50:50)

From Darmstadt via Frankfurt to Bern and the Stade de Suisse for the Swiss Cup Final.

Your correspondent glimpsed the Basel ultras making their way across the Kornhausbrucke and joined them later on the way to the stadium, flares lit and bottles in hand.

The stadium seems to suit the occasion with its two tiers and symmetric ends allowing the hard core fans to prominently do their thing.

So we had choreo beforehand and plenty of pyro during and after the game.
Once the smoke had cleared it was the fans from Zurich who had the most to celebrate with the Grasshoppers winning their first Swiss Cup for nearly twenty years.

Basel might have had more quality but they seemed too cautious and created little in the first period apart from a good shot from Diaz.

Grasshoppers generally showed more aggression although they would go behind to a deflected effort from Steinhofer on 71 minutes.
An equaliser soon followed as Hajrovic converted from close in after Sommer had parried.

And so to extra time when the two main incidents where a decent penalty shout for Grasshoppers and a Bobbadilla shot that was well saved.

The drama continued on a chilly, breezy afternoon with penalties to decide the result.

One wayward shot from the men in blue and white compared to two that clipped the bar from Basel (including, crucially striker Bobbadilla) meant that the final conversion by Serbian Vilotic decided the outcome.

I suspect there were many more smashed bottles on the route back to Basel.

Staying locally I settled for a pizza and a weizenbier and returned via Basel on the Tuesday.

more pics at

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