Alemannia Aachen came into this, their final game of the season, knowing that nothing less than a win was required against 1860 Munich to continue their Bundesliga 2 survival campaign. Having gained some ground in the relegation battle already by bagging a narrow yet vital home victory against their fellow relegation strugglers, Karlsruhe, last weekend, their fate was still out of their hands.
If recently-promoted Eintracht Frankfurt could only win against Karlsruhe or at least hold them to a draw, as Aachen had superior goal difference, an 1860 defeat would throw the Westphalians the lifeline of a chance to compete in the relegation play-offs. Frankfurt would have been more concerned with their own interests at the other end of the table with the league championship still within their sights, giving justification to high expectations amongst the Aachen support that Frankfurt would do the necessary.
1860, on the other hand, had no such pressure knowing that they'd reached a very respectable top six place at the very least, and in search of sixty league points for Sixty. Thus creating the setting for an exciting game attracting 25,100 spectators and Aachen coming to a very rainy Munich with a loud travelling support behind their team and all guns blazing.
The game itself was hard-fought yet clean with referee, Markus Wingenbach, keeping his cards in his pocket all game. It was entertaining yet mostly uneventful as neither team had the killer punch in front of goal to be able to bring their flowing midfield plays to fruition as much as either side would have liked. It was lacking in serious threats on goal yet when the three goals came, each one was better than the last.
The scoring was opened up by Aachen's Albert Streit after ten minutes with a simple triangular play knocking the ball just out of Gabor Kiraly's reach in the Lions' goal. 1860's Stefan Aigner equalised for the home side fewer than ten minutes later with a similar-looking goal through an assist from Maximilian Nicu.
With the score at level-pegging, only one minute later, Aachen goal scorer Streit slipped on the wet surface near his own eighteen yard line opening up a break for Sixty and a chance to take the lead which was saved in the end by Boy Waterman, the Aachen keeper. This was standard viewing for the entire game, especially in the following second half as both sides had to battle to keep their feet in rainy Munich Sunday afternoon conditions. It was pretty much a game of midfield play followed by poor finishing.
The moment of the match followed soon afterwards when Aachen's Alper Uludag responded very quickly to Sixty's goal with one of his very own on twenty-one minutes. It was an absolute belter from about twenty-one yards hitting it so hard that it was in the back of the net before the Sixty defence realised where they were. Such a glimpse of quality left the Aachen travelling support wondering why they couldn't have seen more of this for the past season.
In the end, Bundesliga 2's final standings were decided by a solitary goal by Karlsruhe's Elias Charalambous in his side's surprising one-nil home win over promoted Eintracht Frankfurt. This goal meant that his team continued its league survival by getting into the basement play-offs. It also meant that, thanks to Fürth being held to a draw, Frankfurt's not winning had cost them the league title itself allowing Fürth to be crowned champions. For Aachen's 'Potato Beetles', it meant that even though they won, they'd already had their chips.
It was, for them, 'tattie-bye Liga Zwei'. The Charalambous goal meant for Aachen that today's operation in Munich had been a success but the patient died. 1860 never got the sixty points which they were out for, but can be somewhat satisfied with their strong performance, a top six final standing and the chance to yet again aim for a promotion place to the top flight in season 2012/2013.
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