The failure of Borussia Dortmund to win on the final day of the Germany’s Bundesliga season has allowed rivals, Bayern Munich to win its 11th straight title on Saturday.
Dortmund had gone into the 34th and final game of the season with a two-point lead over Bayern Munich, who lost at home last week against RB Leizpig to hand their rivals the initiative.
Dortmund last won the title 11 years ago, when Jurgen Klopp was in charge, and had hoped to take the title again with a over 9th place Mainz.
Bayern knew they needed to beat 11th place Cologne and hope for a favour from Mainz to be able to regain the title for the 11th straight season, and become first team to win the Bundesliga title having started the final day in second since 1999-2000, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen to the crown.
For Dortmund to win the league, they needed to beat Mainz at home, failure to do that, a Bayern win away to Cologne would see them win the league either with goals difference in the event of a Dortmund draw, or with 1 point in the event of a Dortmund loss.
All 9 games started at the same time on Saturday.
Bayern went ahead in the 8th minute, thanks to a strike from France winger Kingsley Coman, who has won the title in every season as a professional footballer with Paris St-Germain, Juventus and Bayern.
In Dortmund, Mainz took a shock lead in the 15th minute with a goal from Norwegian Defender Andreas Hanche-Olsen.
Things got worse for the home side when Karim Onisiwo doubled Mainz’s lead in the 24th minute, after Dortmund’s Sebastian Haller missed a penalty that would have seen them level the game.
The first half ended with Dortmund needed 3 goals to win the title or for Cologne to equalize against Bayern.
A 69th minute goal by Raphael Guerreiro gave them hope, and the title even seemed closer when Dejan Ljubicic equalized for Cologne against Bayern from the Penalty spot in the 81st minute.
However, Jamal Musiala who came on as a substitute restored Bayern’s lead in the 89th.
An injury time equalizer by Niklas Sule was of no consequence, as they need a win to retain the top spot.
The final whistle went at Cologne with Bayern doing their job and Thomas Muller, who now has won a record 12th Bundesliga titles, was seen following the other game on a phone.
With the final whistle after 6 minutes of injury time, Dortmund’s best opportunity to become champions of Germany in more than a decade was gone.
The fans packed in the Signal Iduna park were stunned, with several players slumped motionless on the pitch after the final whistle.
Conversely, Thomas Tuchel has been able to salvage Bayern’s season. The Bavarians chose to axe Julian Nagelsmann in March and replace him with Tuchel, citing concerns over their development as their reason for changing.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur