Stuttgart succeeded in staying up: the jubilee ball on the shaking court

Volume pierced earplugs, showers of beer descended even on the press stand, thousands of people dressed in white and red stormed the field after the final whistle: without a doubt, the most emotional sensory impressions of this 34th round were provided by the Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt website , where Stuttgart exchanged the relegation arrangement with Hertha Berlin with a goal in stoppage time, and thus managed to remain in the league. At the same time, they lost 2-1 in Dortmund.

“I have a skull after all the screaming and chanting”

In the previous home match against Wolfsburg, they scored only one point before getting zero points. This time around, after 5:15pm, it looked as if VfB would be knocked out of the match with just one point – a two-point game landing against them that would have resulted in a second-tier third-place finisher. Among the tens of thousands who celebrated on the field after the match and only made way for the team to make a lap of honor 70 minutes after the final whistle, no one was interested in whether it was last-minute luck that drove Stuttgart straight. drop. Or the determined will to make the impossible possible in the last three games. “I got a skull after all the screaming and cheering,” even VFB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo admitted. “It was a rapture, a great moment. You will never forget something like this.”

Decision: Wataro Endo hits his head to make it 2-1.

(Photo: Robin Rudel / Imago)

Shortly before the collective ecstasy in Swabia, it looked as if Cologne’s 5,000 fans were right to mock Stuttgart’s supposed second-tier future. After a perfect pass from Borna Sosa, Sasha Kalajdic ran freely towards Cologne’s goal, but he let himself escape by the faster opponent. VfB looked flat and rickety at this point, but then got a corner kick. Hiroki Ito extended the shot of Chris Vohresh to the back post, where Wataro Endo was free. The rest was a round of players led by unleashed coach Matarazzo. And the new realization that even a gigantic stadium with a capacity of 60,000 people can wobble eerily. At least when all four sides of the runway jump up and down in the same rhythm. In any case, scorer Endo exaggerated a little when he said he saw a “stadium explode”.

The drama begins: Stuttgart misses a penalty and immediately takes the lead

Matarazzo declared that VfB wanted to act actively and bravely in the early stages – and also to convince themselves that they still really had a chance to jump off the bucket on their own. Accordingly, she started VfB channel and kept her fans happy. The story of Stuttgart’s early goal by Calajdic fits perfectly with the dramaturgy this afternoon, which was marked by massive mood swings. Because it fell a few seconds after the Austrian failed with a penalty kick, which was not bad in itself, on the best goalkeeper Marvin Schwepp of Cologne. It is well known that losing from penalty shootouts is ideally suited to significantly dampen good morale and the confidence of the team and the public. Most importantly, the fans, some of whom put their hands in front of their faces in desperation, were able to tear themselves apart to celebrate the goal just seconds later. Calajdic simply headed into the next corner to make the score 1-0.

Stuttgart survived: Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo (from left to right), Sasa Kalajdzic of Stuttgart and Thiago Barreros de Milo Thomas of Stuttgart cheer after Endo's goal to make the score 2-1.

Stuttgart coach Pellegrino Matarazzo (from left), Stuttgart’s Sasa Calajdic and Stuttgart’s Thiago Barreiros de Milo Thomas cheer on Endo’s goal to make the score 2-1.

(Photo: Tom Wheeler/dpa)

The way VfB missed his many scoring chances would have been a hotly debated topic if the match had gone unfavorably. To what extent Thiago Thomas (ninth), Konstantinos Mavropanos (17), Wataru Endo (32/35) and Kalajdic (21/53) missed the best chances that could have been discussed, as well as a huge drop in pressure in some stages of the second half. From the match or the fact that VfB goalkeeper Florian Muller missed badly when Anthony Modesti (59) conceded the goal to make it 1-1.

That impression arose, the match could have ended in Stuttgart’s defeat if FC had not played in the first half the way they might when the scoreboard shows a clear 2-0 lead by the biggest contender for sixth place, Union Berlin, lights up. Only when Bochum got close to Alte Försterei did Cologne improve in the second half and cheat VfB again and again. But the really good mood did not want to appear in the Cologne building.

By the time Stuttgart officials prepared the fans for the players to begin the Tour of Honor, Cologne fans had long headed northwest in their buses. You can envy them that, despite all the anger at just losing a place in the Europa League, they came to a similar conclusion to the season as the club’s coach, who only briefly analyzed the match: “We wanted our way of playing this football theatrical season, ”said Steffen Baumgart. Execution.” “We want to move performance from this season to the next.”

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