After Thursday night’s first leg of the playoff for Bundesliga 1, Friday marked the opening match in the playoff for Bundesliga 2.
It was between the third-placed team from the Third Division Jahn Regensburg and the sixteenth-placed team from Bundesliga 2, 1860 Munich.
Like in Thursday’s playoff, the two teams come from the same state (in this case Bavaria).
Also like in Thursday’s game, the two clubs differ greatly in size and financial possibilities.
Regensburg gained promotion from the fourth-tier regional leagues last season, while 1860 is a club with a long tradition, a large fan base and most importantly, the money from Jordanian billionaire investor Hasan Ismaik.
Mr. Ismaik has only one slight problem, he does not seem to understand soccer very well. He dreams openly about the Champions League, as his team threatens to fall into the third tier of the German game, season after season.
This January, he spent millions on many new players as well as in Portuguese star coach Vitor Pereira. The squad has around 30 players that cannot seem to become a team.
That was evident early on in Friday’s game. The players were insecure and always seemed to blame each other for mistakes.
Regensburg on the other hand, played bravely and took the 1-0 lead in the second minute from a Marc Lais header. The third division team continued their domination for the rest of the half, but their narrow lead remained the same, going into the locker room.
The longer the second half went on, the more did the lower league side tire and 1860 got into the game.
Munich scored a precious away-goal to make it 1-1 through Florian Neuhaus in the 78th minute. Just minutes later, the team from the Bavarian capital lost Marin Pongracic to a second yellow card.
Soon after that, their keeper Stefan Ortega saved a Regensburg penalty to preserve the 1-1 final result.
The return leg in Munich on Tuesday promises more drama, with this score going into it.