A nice weekend looks different. And it wasn’t relaxing at all. The players of the Berlin third division club Viktoria 89 had a week off, but then had to watch idly as one competitor scored points after the other in the relegation battle and secured relegation: first MSV Duisburg, then Hallesche FC and finally Viktoria Köln.
Only SC Verl remained, but they also passed the Berliners, who fell back to a relegation zone as a result.
Before the last day of the game this Saturday, the Berliners are two points behind East Westphalia and have a goal difference that is seven goals worse. So a win is a must to stay in the third division. While Viktoria welcomes 12th-placed SV Meppen in the Jahn-Sportpark (1:30 p.m.), Verl meets MSV Duisburg.
Viktoria’s coach Farat Toku had two weeks to prepare his team for the crucial game. “It is important that we keep the balance between tension and relaxation. We did that in training and still kept the focus high,” says Toku. During the week his team played a friendly against the regional league team Union Fürstenwalde, which Toku said was extremely important for trying out a few things and being well prepared for Meppen.
For the Meppener it’s about nothing more. However, Toku does not see an advantage in this. “Meppen won 3-2 against Braunschweig last week, you have to do that first,” he says. In the end it is important that his team works well and that they present themselves on the pitch in such a way that they want to win the game. “The focus is clearly on us and that will also be crucial.”
But even a win might not be enough if Verl don’t lose against Duisburg. The East Westphalians have taken nine points from the last four games and should therefore go into the game against Duisburg with a lot of self-confidence. Intermediate results from Verl will probably not exist in Berlin, at least not on the bench. “Either way, we have to win our game,” says Toku. “The focus is only on us. It doesn’t matter how Verl plays if we don’t work and don’t get the result we want.”
This season, neither of the duels between Viktoria and Verl left the field as a winner, it will be different this time. One of the two will have to return to the regional league on Saturday.