Explosive ranged duel with Munster
The colossal game of fate for Rot-Weiss Essen
13 May 2022, 17:14
It’s the final showdown in the West Regional Football League: the two traditional clubs Rot-Weiss Essen and Preußen Münster are fighting for promotion. Only the first yeasts. Both teams are tied on points and are close for goal difference. A drama is planned.
The stadium is sold out, the euphoria is boundless: everything is ready for the long-awaited return to the third division of the traditional club Rot-Weiss Essen. “For me it is the most important game of my career. We can do something great,” said captain Daniel Heber ahead of the final matchday of the Soccer Regional League West. RWE, the (still) trapped Ruhrpott giants, the 1955 German champions, and their great rivals Preußen Münster fought a bitter duel at the top of the table for months, with the final showdown coming Saturday. Essen expects Rot Weiss Ahlen, the Prussians, on equal points, will meet 1. FC Köln II.
Essen have slightly better goal difference (+2 and more goals scored) and see the lead before the dramatic heart-pounding final. “We have a home game, the seat is full and we are first,” said forward Simon Engelmann of “Reviersport”. But the fear of another failure is great before the club’s biggest game in recent history at RWE. The promotion, so important in terms of sports and finance, has been narrowly missed twice recently. Helmut Rahn’s club last played in the third category in the 2007/08 season. “I’ve been close to promotion very often. Now we have to take the last step,” said Engelmann.
RWE throws the coach out
For this last step, coach Christian Neidhart even split in early May. Sporting director Jörn Nowak took over as interim. “We wanted to give a boost again,” CEO Marcus Uhlig justified the somewhat surprising step. He helped. While Münster scored 0-0 at SC Wiedenbrück on the penultimate matchday, Essen took the lead with a 3-0 win at SV Rödinghausen. This should certainly be successfully defended with the help of the 16,500 spectators on Hafenstrasse.
If it ultimately doesn’t work out, a fan would be partly responsible. In a direct duel against Münster three months ago, a firecracker shot caused the match to be stopped when the score was 1-1 in the second half. Two players from Prussia suffered a violent trauma, Münster took the victory from the sports field. The club will decide after the season whether to sue the perpetrator. The police are also on high alert for the season finale. “Our audience”, says Uhlig, “is even more emotional than anywhere else.” The club asked fans to refrain from attacking the pitch after the final whistle. Because on Sunday on Hafenstrasse the duel between SGS Essen and Carl Zeiss Jena in the women’s Bundesliga is still pending.
Munster, a German runner-up in 1951, hopes for the support of the Ahleners. “It’s only over when it’s over,” said coach Sascha Hildmann. 14,300 spectators will support his team in the Prussian stadium, also sold out, and look forward to Essen. In any case, the wish of the Münster sporting director Peter Niemeyer will not come true. “Basically, both traditional clubs belong to at least the 3rd division,” Niemeyer said. Only one will cheer on Saturday.