Herbst ’73 : “Wunder Vom Betzenberg”


================================================================
Bayern Munich winger BERND GERSDORFF, the off-season signing from relegated Eintracht Braunschweig who recorded two goals but also later received his marching orders in the well-remembered “Miracle of the Betzenberg”, lost this particular battle for the ball to 1.FC Kaiserslautern goalkeeper JOSEF ELTING during the famous Bundesliga match staged in late October of 1973.
================================================================

The match, itself, rightfully remains among the most riveting contests in the annals of the Bundesliga and, indeed, featured one of the most improbable and outright remarkable comebacks in of all German football history.

Two-time defending league champion BAYERN MUNICH were cruising comfortably as the hour mark approached opposite 1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN in the Bundesliga match being played on October 20, 1973. The visting Bavarians were well ahead 4-1 at the Betzenbergstadion thanks to a pair of goals from summer signing BERND GERSDORFF and West Germany international striker GERD MUELLER. A second goal from the superstar Mueller in the 57th minute had all but put the points in the proverbial bag for Bayern Munich trainer UDO LATTEK’s well-stocked side.

After all, the white-shirted visitors fielded five players against 1.FC Kaiserslautern on the turf that noteworthy day at the Betze who had been starters for West Germany’s title-winning squad at the 1972 European Cup of Nations tournament. Moreover, three of those champion players — GEORG SCHWARZENBECK, club captain FRANZ BECKENBAUER and goalkeeper SEPP MAIER — were deployed at the back by the Bavarians. The task facing die Roten Teufel, who, in direct contrast, featured just one player who had already been capped by West Germany at this point in time, was a monumental one to be certain.

==================================================

==================================================
JOSEF “Seppl” PIRRUNG of 1.FC Kaiserslautern, who ultimately appeared in 304 career Bundesliga matches for die Roten Teufel and would make his international debut within one month of the photo here, slips the ball past West Germany’s 1972 European Cup of Nations champion goalkeeper SEPP MAIER of Bayern Munich in the 43rd minute of the famous “Wunder von Betzenberg” match; the Bavarian trainer Udo Lattek later lamented that the play Pirrung made to sneak up on and steal the ball from Bayern Munich midfielder Franz Roth to score just before the break only served to foreshadow exactly what was in store for the visitors the second half of the famous match at the Betzenbergstadion in October of 1973.
==================================================

1.FC Kaiserslautern were not about to consign themselves to defeat after the legendary der Bomber shot his second, however. 22-year-old midfielder KLAUS TOPPMOELLER struck back within sixty seconds by getting his head to a long ball played into the box by Red Devils right winger JOSEF PIRRUNG to generate hope. And an uncharacteristic mistake at the back, in part by Beckenbauer, allowed Pirrung to grab his second goal of the match just three minutes later and pull die Roten Teufel within one.

The 24-year-old Pirrung, who would record a career high 13 goals in the Bundesliga during the 1973-74 season, then scored his third goal of the game from a tight angle on the right and pulled rejuvenated 1.FC Kaiserslautern level with Bayern Munich after Maier had stopped a free kick in the 73rd minute.

The dismissal of Gersdorff with a straight red card only three minutes after the equalizer tipped the scales once and for all and also spelled the end of the line for the 26-year-old Bayern Munich winger, who was transferred back to Regionalliga Nord (second division) Eintracht Braunschweig on the first day of November.

==================================================

==================================================
This goal from 1.FC Kaiserslautern’s Man of the Match KLAUS TOPPMOELLER (far left) would be disallowed but the 22-year-old midfielder, who burst onto the Bundesliga scene with 21 goals for die Roten Teufel during the 1973-74 campaign and would later be capped three times by West Germany in his career, provided the Vorarbeit for the decider in the memorable “Wunder von Betzenberg” match in October of 1973.
==================================================

Despite having a goal waved off by the match referee, 1.FC Kaiserslautern blitzed ten-man Bayern Munich with a further three goals in the history-making final stages. Toppmoeller began the romp with a square ball at the top of the box for on-rushing defender ERNST DIEHL, the captain of die Roten Teufel in the 84th minute. HERBERT LAUMEN, the only member of the trainer ERICH RIBBECK’s Red Devils team to have been capped by West Germany coming into the match, clinched a victory for the ages with a pair of goals late.

The sudden and surprising 7-4 defeat to 1.FC Kaiserslautern literally shocked Bayern Munich. The reigning two-time West German champions were all set to host East German titlist Dynamo Dresden in the second round of the prestigous European Cup in just a few days time at the Olympiastadion in Munich but the result at the Betzenbergstadion only served to raise the alarm about Bayern Munich’s defense. That, however, is another story.

================================================================

================================================================

1.FC KAISERSLAUTERN : Elting – Huber, Diehl, Schwager, Fuchs – Toppmoeller, Bitz, Laumen – Pirring, Sandberg, Ackermann

BAYERN MUNICH : Maier – Hansen, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbeck, Duernberger – Zobel, Roth, Hoeness – Hoffmann, Mueller, Gersdorff

Advertisements

Comments Off on Herbst ’73 : “Wunder Vom Betzenberg”

Filed under Uncategorized

Comments are closed.