Drunk with joy, the Palatinate heroes of 1. FC Kaiserslautern belted out “You’ll Never Walk Alone” late at night in the team bus, with some huge beer glasses to be seen. “The boys deserve it. I asked my team to hold back the celebrations in the stadium a bit, we’ll let the cow fly in the bus,” said promotion coach Dirk Schuster after the 2-0 (0-0) at Dynamo Dresden in the second leg of the relegation. Even then, disco basses could be heard from the cabin.

Shortly after the final whistle, the Red Devils ran to their fans, jumped and danced with their supporters and downed the first beer on the pitch at the corner flag, while the fans roared: “Lautern is the hottest club in the world.”

And midfield player Mike Wunderlich made it clear where the club wants to go: “The club doesn’t belong in the 3rd division and also not in the 2nd division. At least we took the first step,” said the veteran and thanked the ex-coach Marco Antwerpen, who was released shortly before the relegation. “The coach did a great job. And the new coach too. The absolute highlight of my career when you move up to the second division at the age of 36.”

For the Palatinate, a four-year period of suffering ended in third division sadness. Defender Kevin Kraus announced in the exuberance of emotions: “We’ll celebrate until we lose our mother tongue.” “The team always believed in their chance. I just want to thank the lads for the fantastic performance, for the fantastic season, Marco Antwerpen also made a contribution. We accomplished what he prepared today,” said new coach Schuster.

Daniel Hanslik in the 59th minute and Philipp Hercher (90.2) scored the acclaimed goals for the Palatine victory in front of 30,530 spectators. After FCK’s second goal in injury time, the game was on the brink for a moment because flares and firecrackers were thrown onto the pitch from the Dresden fan block. In addition, Dynamo club flags burned in the stands. However, referee Daniel Siebert kept calm and brought the game to an end after an interruption lasting several minutes.