Upset after qualifying for Europe

Only Baumgart does not want to celebrate
Space attack in Cologne after qualifying for Europe

In the previous year, 1. FC Köln only averted relegation from the Bundesliga in the relegation. The Rhinelanders have now been confirmed as participants in the European Cup, a game day before the end of the season. But the joy was not undiminished.

Many fans of 1. FC Köln did not want to be banned from storming the pitch. When the second Europa Cup qualifier in the last 30 years was secured thanks to the support of rival Bayer Leverkusen from the Rhineland, thousands stormed onto the pitch. Before and during the match, the club had strongly asked not to enter the pitch and had even put up extra fences. But the security forces quickly saw the futility of the company and decided to cordon off the site.

It’s just too rare and extraordinary when the once great FC qualifies for Europe these days. The fans kept singing “European Cup” and secured the goal net and penalty points. 0-1 draw against VfL Wolfsburg, sealed by Cologne’s homemade Yannick Gerhardt (43rd), of all things, no one was seriously interested in.

Except Steffen Baumgart. “In fact, I do not want to celebrate,” said the coach and champion builder of the Cologne success: “If we lose, it irritates me. Therefore, it is a little difficult for me to be euphoric. But when I look at the table, laughs I’m inside. “

As in 2017, in the only qualifier since 1992, striker Anthony Modeste was carried in the hands of the supporters. “Better that than being kicked,” said the Frenchman with a laugh, “but really they should have carried the whole team on their hands.” Nevertheless, he was the only one who stayed longer on the field. Colleagues quickly went into the interior, for the dream-like journey is not over yet. Cologne has definitely won the Conference League or at least its play-offs. A victory next week in Stuttgart and the most draw by Union Berlin against Bochum would give them a start in the Europa League.

“We want to be outside now and celebrate with the fans,” said Cologne-born Salih Özcan, allegedly courted by Borussia Dortmund: “But it’s part of it for security reasons. Now we can step on the gas a bit for two days, and then we try to win in Stuttgart. ”

Baumgart would have considered a party in the square inappropriate. “The season is not over yet,” he said. “We can make a polonaise through the city. But we can still get a sixth place next week. It’s okay for people to party. Also that they’re on the lawn. But everyone should understand that if we lose 1-0, then go we are not in euphoria. “

The positive excitement in the city was to be felt everywhere on Saturday. Especially around the arena. When the team bus stopped at 14.09, it was greeted with great applause by numerous fans. Before the kick-off, the fans unveiled a giant banner that read “Shoot us to Europe, do it again – 1. FC Köln, international”. There were over 200,000 ticket requests and 50,000 fans got access.

The mood changed when Lukas Nmecha reportedly scored 0: 2 (55th). There was complete silence for a moment, given Hoffenheim’s lead towards Leverkusen, it seemed that the party was postponed at this point. But the video evidence showed an offside position. And it was the rivals from Leverkusen of all that made the FC fans celebrate with three goals in Hoffenheim.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg’s coach Florian Kohfeldt felt no envy over the cheering images, even though, given the budget, it was actually supposed to be his team playing in Europe. “I enjoy watching the people of Cologne celebrate,” he said: “It is a friendly club, I like Steffen very much. And next year we will play for these places again.”

Here is the picture gallery: Cologne fans storm the pitch after qualifying for Europe

(ako / dpa)

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