In general, Pentacost is for me not about the Holy Spirit but the spirit of Football. In fact, football became my way of life at a young age. Adding an extra day to the weekend becomes even more interesting when a proper football match in Germany can be visited. Especially when it is played in an oldschool football stadium. Bonus when it is a final under pressure. Despite the shitty start, the match had a bizar final phase!
The German Regional Cup is an extra cup tournament for clubs playing in the lower leagues. Starting from the Regionalliga down. On a regular basis you get very interesting fixtures, like derby days between RW Oberhausen and RW Essen. For these clubs the cup is a prize worth fighting for. Literally sometimes, as it turned out last Monday.
RW Oberhausen usually attracks a few Thousand spectators with an outlier on derby days. For the final, Stadion Niederrhein was almost sold out. A beautiful oldschool oval stadium which unfortunately already undergoes a metamorphosis. One of the curved sides is already replaced by a very ugly concrete prefab stand.
The away section was filled with a few Thousand from RW Essen. Usually the bring some proper support. With Oberhausen having a proper group as well, it had the ingredients for crazy atmosphere. Adding some nice bratwurst, a couple of beers and the sun…what else you going to do at Pentacost?
Oberhausen side had a great tifo at the start of the game. A nice display filling the whole stand. I hoped Essen would come up with a proper tifo as well, but they came up with nothing unfortunately. Oberhausens’ tifo was the hightlight of the match for a long time. The football on the pitch was simply dreadful. The support on the stands made up for the poor pitch performance.
Literally the first shot on goal gave Oberhausen the lead. A fierce shot made the home crowd go crazy on the stands. And despite the ugly concrete stand, the supporters could celebrate the goal the old fashioned way, up in the fences.
After halftime, Essen decided to show some football skills as well which resulted in the equalizer. The away section went mental. Suddenly Essen was all over the place but forgot to take the lead. Tension on the stands increased by the minute.
Bizarre final phase
And just when everybody was preparing for extra time, the match got an insane twist. A scrimmage in front of the Essen goal makes the keeper completely missing the ball and almost knocking out an Oberhausen player. A defender tries to keep a striker from scoring but curiously hits the ball. It seems the ball is cleared just before it crosses the line.
The ref and his assistants are resolute, goal Oberhausen. The home team goes nuts, while the majority of the supporters are still flabbergasted. Essen heaviliy protests, but it doesn’t help. The knocked out player is almost forgotten. Slowly the crowd realizes their team scored.
A job as a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is not suited for me. Even after studying the video footage it is still unclear to me. Actually in my opinion I don’t think the ball crossed the line at all.
Essen had major frustrations. One of the defenders thought it was necessary to kick his opponent in half. Completely mental ofcourse. The players started to fight. The Essen ultras thought is was necessary to join the fight and jumped on to the dirth track. The riot police narrowly prevented an escalation of the situation.
Apparantly the ref was fed up with it as he immediately ended the match. Fences on the other side flew open and the Oberhausen side massively entered the pitch going straight for the away section. Again the riot police was just in time to avoid a major collission between the two sides. Even riot police on horses entered the pitch.
In the mean time one Essen supporter thought he could attack the Oberhausen side on hiw own. Another one grabbed a chair and placed himself front seat on the middle spot. Both guys were brutally cuffed. A large group of Essen supporters were fighting the police outside the stadium.
Meanwhile the stadium speaker did his best to talk all the Oberhausen fans into getting back to the stands. Without success. So he became creative and started singing songs, which enthusiasticly were taken over by the crowd on the pitch. Eventually after a while they got back to the stands, so the official cup presentation could take place.
Some more impressions