Borussia Dortmund missed a chance to end Bayern Munich’s decade-long dominance of the Bundesliga by drawing 2-2 at home with Mainz while Bayern defeated Köln 2-1 in one of the most thrilling season finales in recent memory.
Dortmund had a two-point lead over Bayern at the top of the league heading into the last day, had home-field advantage for the game that would decide the championship, and even had a parade scheduled.
Dortmund might still lose the game, therefore Bayern Munich needed to win and had to hope that Dortmund lost or drew. If Bayern lost or drew, the title would go to Signal Iduna Park.
And Dortmund was actually poised to win the championship with just one minute of regulation time remaining. Bayern had let up an equalizer against Köln in the 81st minute, giving Dortmund a point advantage in the standings even though it was down 2-1 in its own match against Mainz.
Signal Iduna Park’s audience briefly went into a craze as word of Köln’s goal spread among the spectators, who shouted and hugged one another. There were only nine minutes left of regulation time, and with every drumbeat ringing around the stadium, Dortmund moved one second closer to winning its first championship since 2012.
The fans’ momentary joy, however, was short-lived as Jamal Musiala reestablished Bayern’s advantage in the 89th minute, crushing it eight minutes later.
There was still time for a twist with five minutes left in the injury time. In the last seconds, Nicklas Sule’s goal made it 2-2, and Dortmund kept up the pressure.
But soon after, the final siren sounded, and Dortmund’s players fell to the ground in sorrow over a championship that had inexplicably and painfully eluded them.
As spectators tried to process what they had just seen, the stadium became silent all around them. They cheered as manager Edin Terzi, a lifelong supporter of Dortmund, stood in front of them in tears.
The traveling Bayern fans in Cologne, Germany, rejoiced with their team as they raised the Meisterschale.
Dortmund’s last day got off to the worst start imaginable when it gave up two goals in the first 25 minutes.
Before Sebastian Haller, who returned to Dortmund in January after receiving treatment for testicular cancer, missed a penalty that would have tied the game, Andreas Hanche-Olsen gave Mainz the lead in the 15th minute.
A grave scenario for Dortmund was made worse by developments in Cologne, where Bayern Munich had taken a 1-0 lead after eight minutes, and Karim Onisiwo increased Mainz’s lead five minutes later.
Despite all the late drama, Dortmund ultimately fell behind, and it will look back on its final game of the season and regret all the chances it wasted.
This has been a dismal season by Bayern Munich’s high standards, and the team announced Oliver Kahn, the CEO, and board member Hasan Salihamidi had been fired shortly after claiming the championship.
According to Bayern’s statement, Salihamidi’s successor has not yet been chosen, and Jan-Christian Dreesen has been nominated as the new CEO.