Remember, remember the 6th of December
I was still a kid then. It was 1994. It was the 6th of December 1994. Whereas I can not recall if it was cold or super cold night I still have not forgotten a single second of what happened just a few minutes before the end of extra time.
Borussia faced Deportivo La Coruna in the round of the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Borussia had lost the away tie 1-0. A Zorc goal early on in the second half was enough to bring the tie into extra time. Still in front of 35.400 BVB supporters it was Alfredo who equalized after 102 minutes. Now 2 goals were needed to reach the quarters. Young Lars Ricken had entered the pitch after 72 minutes. Thomas Franck, one of the forgotten players of the period, was substituted for him. The other players on the Westfalenstadion pitch after 105 minutes were:
Stefan Klos, Matthias Sammer, Bodo Schmidt, Julio Cesar, Steffen Freund, Michael Zorc, Andreas Möller, Knut Reinhard, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Martin Kree, who was brought in to replace the exhausted Chapuisat and take the game to penalties in the 99th minute. There were no penalties to take that night. And only 15 minutes left. And two goals needed.
Back in a Dortmund suburb my dad got dressed. It was my mum's birthday. But dad had promised to pick me up after the match. There was a school I had to go to. While my dad got dressed back in the Westfalenstadion Norbert Dickel, the legend that he is, played „Heja BVB" over the stadium loudspeakers. The fans that had not left the stadium after the La Coruna equalizer, sang along.. We until then had played a good season and where still in the race for our first league Bundesliga Meisterschaft. And why not honor that and honor a team that had fought so brave. However: No miracle to expect. Even on Santa Claus day. It was all over.
Meanwhile back in the Dortmund suburb my dad took his seat again. Karl-Heinz Riedle scored the 2-1 after 116 minutes, just a couple of minutes after Norbert Dickel had played „Heja BVB" over the stadium loudspeakers. Four minutes to go and all of a sudden at least a small door was open again. „Do something!", was the loudest cry youd hear inside the stadium. People were getting into fist fights just to do something. Not hurting each other but just fighting to do something. Others stood quietly and others jumped up and down knowing the world would not end on that day.
My dad was down to his knees, I was standing in Block 12, at the fence to 13. There was a load of space now, Norbert Dickel played „Heja BVB" again, a Sammer free kick from the half way line was flying into the box and bounced back into midfield. Bodo Schmidt, not known for his talent as a playmaker got the ball with a long leg, 117 min 32 seconds were played until then. Schmidt curved through a bunch of La Coruna players, on the stands someone shouted „Bodo" and Bodo hit the ball with his foot, not in a Götze style but in a Schmidt style. The ball reached young Lars Ricken inside the box, maybe 14 meters away from the goal, right side. It took Ricken only one touch to put the ball past Liano right underneath the cross bar. Andi Möller was the first to realize, his arms shot up and he jumped as the ball hit the back of the net, behind the goal the famous Südtribüne exploded. Jumping up and down, tumbling not getting up. A roar unheard in years unfolded.
Back in the suburb my dad jumped as high as he could, reaching the wall, in the Westfalenstadion there was no way for me to jump any more. I was lying underneath a pile of Borussia Dortmund supporters, shouting as loud as I was able to shout. 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes and I was still down on the stairs, underneath a pile of Borussia Dortmund fans. As the game ended I was able to get up. And celebrate with the team. In a half empty Westfalenstadion. Those who had left will never forget that night, those who had stayed behind sometimes wake up with that Westfalenstadion roar in mind. And my dad got into his car and picked me up from the stadium. It might have been of the best birthday presents my mum ever got. Only some three seasons later she'd be proud owner of a season ticket to the Süd. Where she now goes every fortnight. Happy Birthday, Mum! The Young Guns might as well have another huge present for you tonight. Remember, remember the 6th of December!
BVB: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Santana, Hummels, Löwe - Götze, Kehl - Kuba, Lewandowski, Großkreutz - Barrios
Olympique Marseille: Mandanda - Azpilicueta, Diawara, Nkoulou, Traoré - Diarra, Mbia - Amalfitano, Lucho Gonzalez, A. Ayew - Remy
Ref: Howard Webb (GB) / Fourth Official: Mike Dean (GB)
Kick-Off: 8.45 pm CET
Westfalenstadion, 65.590 spectators (sold out)
Follow our live ticker. Angry Web presents you yet another miracle on December 6th
Lars Ricken scores