As Bayern Munich’s second round DFB-Pokal tie wore on, two things became clear. One, FC Saarbrücken was hanging around; the third-tier side was making a real game of it. Two, Bayern was getting rolling and, given enough time, would eventually overpower their foes.
Saarbrücken coach Rüdiger Ziehl admitted as much in a post-game conversation with ESPN sideline reporter ESPN sideline reporter Archie Rhind-Tutt.
“It was clear we were going to lose in extra time,” Ziehl said when asked about his thoughts as the game wound down.
Then the improbable happened: one last desperate foray forward, a moment’s lapse in concentration from one or two Bayern players, and a winning goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time from the home side.
All of Saarbrücken was overjoyed, and comments from various team personnel were captured via FCBayern.com:
“It’s sensational. Obviously, you dream about this and I can hardly believe it,” said sporting director Jürgen Luginger. “We had a tiny glimmer of hope something like this might happen. It’s simply phenomenal.”
“My head’s a total mess at the moment,” said Manuel Zeitz, the center-back whose veteran-savvy foul earlier in the half had saved a potential Bayern killing blow on the break. “I don’t even know how to be happy, because nobody expected this. Of course, you’re hoping the game can be exciting, but you also know you can get kicked in the teeth. That’s why it’s a little surreal to see it’s 2-1 to us on the scoreboard.”
Finally, head coach Rüdiger Ziehl again: “It’s just madness. It had to happen in regular time because we wouldn’t have made it through 120 minutes. We had to run and suffer a lot today. That’s the reason why we made attacking substitutions. How the team performed and tapped into their last reserves is simply unfathomable. It was a performance driven by willpower, and I’m incredibly proud of the team.”
In the end, a famous victory for the underdogs and memories that will last a lifetime for their players and fans alike.
Meanwhile, the Saarbrücken players look nearly as shocked as the Bayern players, just for very very different reasons. An unbelievable achievement. pic.twitter.com/7L3iXWdXr7— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) November 1, 2023
As always, we appreciate all the support.