What saved your reputation

"The reputation was saved in the final spurt"

On April 29, 1974, the WESER-KURIER wrote:

Something extraordinary happened in the half-time break. Werder's Presidium, otherwise generally trying to shield the team and coach from any disruption in the ten minutes between the halves of the game, this time considered a disruption to be appropriate. When Dr. Franz Böhmert and Klaus-Dieter Fischer came out of the dressing room with the restart, the players knew that in the remaining minutes it was hardly a matter of bonuses and points for them. Above all, it was about the reputation of your club, it was about the proof that, despite the 3-0 deficit against the bottom of the table, everything was right. 45 minutes later, the seemingly impossible was done: the audience, who shouted “Push, push!” At the break, celebrated Werders 3: 3 against Hannover 96 like a victory, and board member Fischer groaned with a sigh of relief: “That was our most important draw Season!"

Even the longest-serving Werder players like Horst Höttges and Günter Bernard couldn't remember when their team had ever made up a 3-0 deficit, Höttges was even convinced: "We have never done that!" How extraordinary and nerve-wracking the game was over, showed the reaction of the Hanoverians: The players could not be moved to comment, more nervously than physically at the end, they sat in their cabin, and coach Kronsbein admitted: “We can be glad that we haven't lost yet ! " A loyal companion of the Hanoverian team was convinced: "This 3: 3 - that threw us back more than a 0: 1 defeat!" It had started so well, perhaps too well for the guests .), Kemmer (22nd) and Stegmayer (39th) led them 3-0 at the break, without having been the superior team by then. There were rather three factors - uninfluenced by the Hanoverians - that mainly made this sensational Contributing intermediate result:

• The weak shot of the Werder attack

• The blunders of the Bremen defense

• the unfortunate decisions of referee Wichmann

As a defense: Your mistakes in the Hanover counterattacks ensured that the guests literally fell into the lap of all three hits. The criticism applies to all players in the back team - including goalkeeper Burdenski, who looked bad with the first and third goals conceded, as well as World Cup candidate Höttges, who admitted afterwards: "Especially in the first half, I was always afraid that my strain would break out again, I played inhibited. A new injury and the World Cup is over for me! "Regarding the Bremen attack: Weist, Dietrich and Zembski missed opportunities before the break that made scoring just a formality. And to the referee: He whistled off an advantage for Werder When Roentved only needed to push the ball into the goal, he overlooked two penalty-worthy fouls on Görts and did not punish it when Stegmayer kicked away with his elbow before the 3-0 fight.

The referee was also given the "push" calls, they too were unjustified. Because afterwards there was a surprise: Mr Wichmann, it became known, is the godfather of Werder goalkeeper Burdenski. He admitted: "In my subconscious I was always afraid of giving Werder an advantage ..." To which I should say: The wrong decisions are less to blame than the fact that he did not inform the DFB of his bias and asked them to lead another game . Back to the game in which Werder dominated the game before the break, despite the 3-0 win, without being able to hide a number of weaknesses. In the midfield, Roentved often got stuck, Bracht found no remedy against Stiller's precise and hard man marking. Only Dietrich achieved a great effect. In the attack, Görts often presented his guard Höfer with problems. Weist, however, was in good care with Anders.

Even after the break, the picture changed little for the time being: Werder played superiorly without looking like a decisive change. It came when Piontek changed. The becoming coach, previously criticized for being substituted, landed a direct hit this time. After a good hour, he took the risk of bringing two new players, Ohling and Thygesen, onto the field for the disappointing Bracht and Kontny. Six minutes later Thygesen scored the 1: 3 after Dietrich's splendid heel trick, Görts made the connecting goal in the 81st minute from 18 m, and Ohling steered a fighting shot into the net five minutes before the final whistle to equalize. And if Roentved had left the ball to the better positioned Kamp two minutes later, instead of beheading himself, Werder would even have left the field as the winner. Mind you: It was certainly not just because of the young Ohling and Thygesen that Werder managed to equalize. But their appearance ushered in a final spurt for the entire team that the audience will not soon forget. The Lower Saxony were finally no longer able to keep the ball in their own ranks for just one minute; they thrashed instead of gamble. And they made it quite clear why they will have to dismount: Neither the strength of their nerves nor their muscles should be enough to win the now almost hopeless fight.

The high-resolution PDF of the original newspaper page from back then is available here (press and hold the link on iOS).