It was a hot and sunny afternoon, on the 29th of May 10 years ago when Eintracht played the reigning title holder 1. FC Kaiserslautern at home. The season of 1998/99 was another one full of struggles and the relegation battle was very much alive on this very last matchday.

Opponent ‘Lautern’ was still capable of reaching the Champions League qualification with a good result against Eintracht.

All through the nine matchdays before the final one the Eagles had been down there in relegation zone, spot 16 or mostly 17 of the table. Six games before the season final manager Joerg Berger took over after Frankfurt gave the former man in charge – Rainhold Fanz – the boot. With Berger there would follow only one defeat and we picked up important points in wins over Bremen, Dortmund and Schalke.

Here’s a snapshot of the table before the final day of the season:

 

#

 
 

Team

 
 

Games

 
 

Goals

 
 

Goal diff.

 
 

Points

 
 

12

 
 

1. FC Nürnberg

 
 

33

 
 

 39:48 

 
 

-9

 
 

37

 
 

13

 
 

VfB Stuttgart

 
 

33

 
 

 40:48 

 
 

-8

 
 

36

 
 

14

 
 

SC Freiburg

 
 

33

 
 

 34:43 

 
 

-9

 
 

36

 
 

15

 
 

Hansa Rostock

 
 

33

 
 

 46:56 

 
 

-10

 
 

35

 
 

16

 
 

Eintracht Frankfurt

 
 

33

 
 

 39:53 

 
 

-14

 
 

34

 
 

17

 
 

VfL Bochum

 
 

33

 
 

 38:62 

 
 

-24

 
 

29

 
 

18

 
 

Borussia M'gladbach

 
 

33

 
 

 41:77 

 
 

-36

 
 

21

 


So depending on the results and varying constellation a lot of teams were involved and still in danger, and Eintracht – with the recent wins and the confidence coming from that – stepped up to a legendary performance, and probably the most exciting and dramatic season finish concerning Bundesliga relegation ever.

Crazy Results – Decision on Goal Difference

 It would take too long to go too much into detail, as with every goal update coming from the different grounds where involved teams were playing the table situation changed. Sometimes we would need to keep the result as it was, minutes later we had to score again. It was just crazy. It turned out that our ‘diva from the river Main’ had one of those days and played an outstanding game with terrific goals coming from Chen Yang (picture above), Sobotzik, Gebhardt and Schneider. Let’s not forget, Kaiserslautern were a contender for the Champions League qualification and had still to go for it.

The Goal from Heaven

After Bernd Schneider’s goal in the 82nd minute (also beautifully executed!) we were 4-1 up, and when Nuernberg scored a goal in the 85th minute of their game v SC Freiburg it meant that we were equal on points but one goal behind in goal difference. Despite having scored four we needed one more to be on the same goal difference, and having scored more in total that would mean we stay up and they go down.

Then the ball got to our Austrian forward Westerthaler who dribbled passed an opponent and then somehow got the ball to Jan-Aage Fjoertoft (picture below) who was free on goal. He was taking a few steps, one on one with the goalkeeper and then he made a dummy, stepped over the ball with his right foot and scored with his left to keep Eintracht in Bundesliga!

The whole place went mad and after three more minutes the referee blew the whistle, and then it was just one big Eintracht party, with fans running on to the pitch, Fjoertoft dancing with mayor Petra Roth on the main stand and everyone rubbing their eyes and ears as if asking themselves whether it really all happened that way. 

The final table:

 

 

#

 
 

Team

 
 

Games

 
 

Goals

 
 

Goal diff.

 
 

Points

 
 

14

 
 

Hansa Rostock

 
 

34

 
 

 49:58 

 
 

-9

 
 

38

 
 

15

 
 

Eintracht Frankfurt

 
 

34

 
 

 44:54 

 
 

-10

 
 

37

 
 

16

 
 

1. FC Nürnberg

 
 

34

 
 

 40:50 

 
 

-10

 
 

37

 
 

17

 
 

VfL Bochum

 
 

34

 
 

 40:65 

 
 

-25

 
 

29

 
 

18

 
 

Borussia M'gladbach

 
 

34

 
 

 41:79 

 
 

-38

 
 

21

 

  Here you can see the goal of Fjoertoft:

 www.youtube.com/watch

 Here’s a summary of all happenings in that second half, also with scenes from the games of Hansa Rostock and 1. FC Nuernberg:

www.youtube.com/watch

And here you can see the recent event in Frankfurt, where they replayed the classic goal with Fjoertoft himself:

www.youtube.com/watch

Share
Functions