Fall ’73 : Bayern By Skin Of Teeth In Sweden


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History, thereafter, might have been different in the fall of 1973 but West Germany World Cup star and club captain FRANZ BECKENBAUER delivered with the winning penalty kick in the shootout as Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich crucially managed to just barely survive feisty Swedish side FF Atvidabergs in the opening round of the prestigous European Cup.
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BAYERN MUNICH had lost but once in its first ten matches in all competitions when arriving in Sweden to face FF ATVIDABERGS in the return leg of the first round European Cup tie for the 1973-74 season. The Bavarians had boasted six victories thus far, including the 3-1 triumph — powered by the pair of strikes from West Germany international superstar GERD MUELLER — over their Swedish opponents in the first leg at the Olympiastadion in Munich. But Bayern were also winless in their last four Bundesliga games and, despite the two-goal advantage, the early October journey to Scandanavia still proved to be rather difficult for one-time West Germany Olympic trainer UDO LATTEK’s side in the end.

The reigning two-time defending Bundesliga champions sent out a full-strength first team in Sweden which included six starters from West Germany’s reigning 1972 European Cup of Nations title-winning squad as well as new signing JUPP KAPELLMANN, who broke the existing Bundesliga record with his 880,000 Deutsche Mark transfer from 1.FC Koeln in the summer of 1973.

FF Atvidabergs, however, had five men in its line-up for the second leg against Bayern Munich who would eventually make Sweden’s squad competing in the 1974 FIFA World Cup final tournament hosted by West Germany. One of those players, forward BENNO MAGNUSSON, later spent two and a half seasons in the Bundesliga with 1.FC Kaiserslautern and SC Hertha Berlin. Another future World Cup and West German first division performer, winger CONNY TORSTENSSON, very nearly succeeded in spoiling the Bavarians’ whole trip.

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24-year-old Sweden international winger CONNY TORSTENSSON of Swedish champion FF Atvidabergs fires the first of his two goals against German titlist Bayern Munich during the first round, second leg European Cup match at the little Kopparvallen stadium on October 3, 1973.
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It would take FF Atvidabergs all of fifteen minutes to erase the deficit to Bayern Munich from the first leg. This scoreline left the European Cup tie square on aggregate but the Swedes ahead on the away goals rule. Worse still for Lattek’s team, West Germany international left back PAUL BREITNER had to leave with an injury just after the second goal at the Kopparvallen.

A second goal from the # 7 Torstensson with less than twenty minutes remaining sent FF Atvidabergs in front 3-0 for the evening and confirmed the fact that visiting Bayern Munich were in serious trouble. Fortunately for the Bavarians, within sixty seconds young and talented ULI HOENESS fashioned a rapid response. A goal from the 21-year-old attacking midfielder, who had accompished for West Germany the unusual feat of appearing in the Final of the European Cup of Nations and the final tournament of the Summer Olympic Games all in the same season the year before, restored equilibrium at 4-4 on aggregate.

Kapellmann and Torstensson traded successful penalty kicks before winger BERND GERSDORFF, another summer signing of Bayern Munich’s who had scored nine Bundesliga goals for relegated Eintracht Braunschweig the previous campaign, missed the net completely. Once again the situation looked bleak for the Bavarians. But in the fourth round, West Germany international goalkeeper SEPP MAIER dove to his left and denied Sweden’s future World Cup defender KENT KARLSSON to make the save that Bayern Munich desperately needed.

FF Atvidabergs would miss with its fifth and final penalty kick, which stamped Bayern Munich’s passport into the second round of the 1973-74 European Cup tournament.

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