Tuesday, June 21, 2011

21 June 1953 - Stuttgart Gets Kaiserslaughtered

On 21 June 1953, Kaiserslautern won their second league title, beating Stuttgart 4-1. The win was the last of a four-year series in which the two teams alternated as German champions.

Founded in 1900, Kaiserslautern finished as league runners-up in 1910 and 1912, but declined in subsequent years, finishing at the bottom of their division in 1944. Their fortunes improved when German football resumed in 1948, as they reached the league final, only to lose to Nuremburg. In 1950, they advanced to the quarterfinals of the German championship, the Meisterschaft, but lost to that year's champions, Stuttgart.

Kaiserslautern won their first title in 1951, while Stuttgart reclaimed the title in 1952. Then, in 1953, the two teams met for the first time in a Meisterschaft Final. Played before a crowd of 80,000 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, that final was never in doubt. Kaiserslautern went up 2-0 with goals from Fritz Walter (pictured, playing for West Germany) (37') and Karl Wanger (57'), before Stuttgart got on the scoreboard (Leo Kronenbitter 72'), then pulled away with two more goals near the end (Erwin Scheffler 78', Wanger 83') to win the match 4-1.

They returned to the final in 1954 and 1955, but did not win another title until 1991, then added a fourth--their last one--in 1998. Stuttgart, meanwhile, have a total of five after winning the league in 1984, 1992, and 2007.

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