A couple of meanwhile slightly overweight and also greyish gentlemen had entered the lawn in the Stuttgart Arena before the game. Parts of the championship team from 1992 around world champion Guido Buchwald should bring luck to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
A win against 1. FC Köln with a simultaneous loss of Hertha BSC at Borussia Dortmund would save the traditional Swabian club from going into relegation.
And luck was with VfB like almost exactly 30 years ago. He won with a goal in added time, while BVB came out on top late in the game against stay-at-home rivals Hertha.
The encounter had already started wonderfully from a Swabian perspective. VfB pressed Cologne down in their half of the game right after kick-off. The logical consequence was the lead by the very conspicuous attacker Sasa Kalajdzic in the 12th minute.
Shortly before, the Austrian had missed a penalty. Speaking of converting chances: As so often this season, this was the problem for Stuttgart on Saturday. It could have jumped out a lot more at halftime.
But the Cologne team stayed in the game. And once again the old football adage comes true that such inability will be punished at some point. Cologne striker Anthony Modeste used a catastrophic goalkeeping error by Florian Müller to equalize in the 59th minute.
After that, the two teams went back and forth. The Stuttgart wanted to avoid relegation, and the Cologne in the Europa League. But either the outstanding Marvin Schwäbe in the Cologne goal prevented the impact (as against Omar Marmoush in the 82nd minute) or some defender’s leg cleared both sides at the last moment.