Sunday, April 29, 2012

29 April 1978 - It Was A Hell Of An Effort, Though

On 29 April 1978, Borussia Mönchengladbach beat Borussia Dortmund by the Bundesliga record margin of 12-0. And it still wasn't enough.

Gladbach had dominated the league over the previous few years, winning the title in 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, and 1977. But going into the final day of the 1977-78 season, they were sitting in second place behind Köln. The two teams were level on points, but Köln had a ten-goal advantage in differential and were playing their final match of the season away at the league's last-place team, St. Pauli.

A crowd of 38,000 people showed up at Gladbach's Rheinstadion and watched as the hosts gave their best effort to retain the title. Going up against Dortmund's second-choice keeper, Peter Endrulat--who had reportedly been told earlier in the day that the club was not going to renew his contract--Gladbach built a 6-0 lead by the break with goals from Jupp Heynckes (1', 12', 32'), Carsten Nielsen (13'), Karl Del'Haye (22'), and Herbert Wimmer (38').

At the break, Dortmund manager Otto Rehhagel asked Endrulat if he wanted to come out of the game, but the keeper gamely chose to play on. He later said he wished he hadn't, as Heynckes (59', 77'), Nielsen (61'), Del'Haye (66'), Ewald Lienen (87'), and Christian Kulik (90') proceeded to add another six goals to Gladbach's tally. The 12-0 scoreline remains the highest margin of victory in Bundesliga history, beating the previous record set by Gladbach in their 11-0 win over Schalke in 1967.

Unfortunately for Gladbach, twelve goals weren't enough, as Köln beat St. Pauli 5-0 to preserve a three-goal differential over Gladbach and take the title.

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