Travelling by scooter in Germany in the middle of November is no fun. Just like on Sunday. Light rain at just under 9 degrees Celsius and quite a bit of wind. Brrr… but what can I do, there are no car parks at the arena. Not at all today, because it’s against Kaiserslautern, which is only about 100 kilometres away from Wiesbaden and therefore a lot of visitors are expected. It’s a kind of derby.
1. FC Kaiserslautern is one of the great traditional clubs in Germany, which has celebrated a total of 4 German Championships in its history, but has really lost momentum since its relegation to the 2. Bundesliga in 2006. Between 2018 and 2022, the team even only played in the 3rd division pf German football, but after their last year’s promotion, they are hoping to be promoted to the top division again soon. Recent results in the cup have shown that they have a strong team and it was to be feared that they would overrun Wehen Wiesbaden in their run, although their last league game was lost against Fürth.
It was also rather uncomfortably cold in the stadium and I wondered once again how the young lads do it on the pitch in their shorts, especially the goalkeeper.
But the fans created the right atmosphere. As expected, the entire guest stand was full. 12,100 spectators in total; a new season record. The SVWW fan block was also packed this time and the ultras had come up with a nice choreo with complete stand banners and red smoke (see photos).
My nice seat neighbour, the older lady, was there again and we made friends this time. Her name is Bärbel and this time she was a bit more excited than normally. Well, the aim was to beat Kaiserslautern. Kaiserslautern! Every now and then she also started to grumble: about an opposing player or when things didn’t go fast enough forwards or when the ball was lost unnecessarily. Not nearly as blatant as the “gentlemen” behind us, who were swearing in one piece and indulging in football wisdom, but you could tell that the game was more important to her than others.
In the first half, the game was rather well balanced, even if you had the feeling that our team was the only ones playing. There was no sign of Kaiserlautern’s attacking drive. Up until the 39th minute, we had one chance to score, but the visitors hadn’t even had a shot on our goal. Nothing, nada, niente. But then the ball was in our net: 0:1! A strange goal, because it didn’t look intentional. The ball just bounced at Ritter’s feet by chance and he simply took a shot. Goal. Damn…
After the break, Kaiserslautern seemed to want to build on the goal. They were now playing football. And ours were probably angry at not having been rewarded for their efforts in the first half. The game became more lively, but we still had the better scenes … and after just 4 minutes, the visitors gave our Tijmen Goppel far too much time to aim and shoot just outside the penalty area and the ball was deflected into the goal by an opponent’s leg. 1:1!
In the 65th minute, things got curious again: Goppel was fouled and awarded a free kick about 20 metres from goal. Robin Heußer took it and his shot somehow hit the chest of Ivan Prtajin in the penalty area, from where the ball went into the goal. 2:1 … Game turned round!
The last half hour was really nerve-wracking. We continued to play better, but the pressure increased and the game became noticeably faster. Shortly before the end, substitute John Iredale ran alone with the ball across half the pitch and everyone held their breath, but just before the goal he tried to round the last defender and he was just able to scoop the ball away. G… damn it!
This was the fourth (!) game in a row that we have won and our position in the table looks correspondingly favourable again. Only three points behind the promotion places. Woohoo … but let’s not fool ourselves: There will be another losing streak in the future (as always in football) and 21 points are still not enough to keep us in the league, and that’s all that matters.
Two away games are scheduled in the next three weeks, against Greuther Fürth and Holstein Kiel. On 8 December, we return to the Brita Arena against Eintracht Braunschweig, currently second last in the table. They should be beatable…
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