Bundesliga 1998-99


An interesting Bundesliga season, at least in the "also-ran" category. From the start, there was little doubt who the champion would be. Bayern Muenchen was obviously stung by Kaiserslautern winning last year, and this season made no doubt who was in control. They got out of the blocks fast and mercilessly pummeled the opposition, winning easily. Bayer Leverkusen was the only team even moderately in contention, but when they got close, they got their ass kicked by Muenchen, and that was that.

Hertha BSC was a pleasant surprise, as they deservedly finished 3rd and made it to the Champions League qualifying rounds. They also featured the leading scorer, with Michael Preetz bagging 23. Borussia Dortmund did the same, despite an unimpressive season. While defending champs Kaiserslautern were brought back down to earth, Wolfsburg surprised everybody by threatening a Champions League spot. They were finally shown their place, losing 1-6 at Duisburg in the final match, and missing out.

While Duisburg played well, Schalke, Stuttgart and Bremen sucked, and were only able to get out of relegation trouble near the season end. The relegation battle was the highlight of this season. Whereas legendary Moenchengladbach sucked out of the gate and were dead, and Bochum ran out of gas, the last spot went down to the wire. Eintracht Frankfurt looked dead, but with a super-human 5-1 thrashing of Kaiserslautern, they managed to save themselves. Nuernberg was the stunning loser, when they already had booked their tickets for the next season Bundesliga. Instead, it went to the 2nd tie breaker. Equal on points and Goal Difference, Frankfurt wins on more goals scored!

 

STANDINGS:
				G	 GF:GA	Diff	Pts
 1. Bayern Muenchen (P)		34	 76:28	+49	78	CL
 2. Bayer Leverkusen		34	 61:29	+31	63	CL
----------------------------------------------------------
 3. Hertha BSC Berlin 		34	 59:32	+27	62	CLQ
 4. Borussia Dortmund		34	 48:34	+14	57	CLQ
 5. 1.FC Kaiserslautern (M)	34	 51:47	+4	57	UEFA
 6. VfL Wolfsburg 		34	 54:49	+5	55	UEFA
 7. Hamburger SV		34	 47:46	+1	49 	UI
 8. MSV Duisburg		34	 48:45	+3	48	UI
 9. 1860 Muenchen		34	 49:57	-8	41
10. Schalke 04			34	 41:54	-13 	41
11. VfB Stuttgart 		34	 41:49	-8	39
12. SC Freiburg (N)		34	 37:45	-8 	39
13. Werder Bremen		34	 42:49	-7	38	UEFA
14. Hansa Rostock		34	 49:58	-9	38
15. Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	34	 44:54	-10	37
----------------------------------------------------------
16. 1.FC Nuernberg (N)		34	 40:50	-10	37
17. VfL Bochum			34	 41:66	-25	29
18. Borussia M'Gladbach		34	 41:79	-38	21

M = Meister, defending champion
P = Pokal, defending cupwinner
N = Neuling, newly promoted

CL   = Champions League
CLQ  = Champions League (qualifying round)
UEFA = UEFA Cup
UI   = UI (intertoto) Cup


Top Goalscorers

 #  Name       Goals   Games        Pens    Club

 1  Preetz      23      34    0.68    3      Hertha BSC Berlin
 2  Kirsten     19      31    0.61    3      Bayer 04 Leverkusen
 3  Neuville    14      33    0.42    3      Hansa Rostock
 -  Yeboah      14      34    0.41    0      Hamburger SV
 5  Elber       13      21    0.62    0      FC Bayern Muenchen
 -  Jancker     13      26    0.50    0      FC Bayern Muenchen
 -  Beierle     13      28    0.46    0      MSV Duisburg
 -  Ciric       13      28    0.46    1      1.FC Nuernberg
 -  Juskowiak   13      31    0.42    0      VfL Wolfsburg
10  Hobsch      12      25    0.48    0      TSV 1860 Muenchen
 -  Marschall   12      28    0.43    2      1.FC Kaiserslautern


Leading Assists

 #  Name       Assts   Games       Goals    Club

 1  Jancker     11      26    0.42   13      FC Bayern Muenchen
 -  Bode        11      29    0.38    8      Werder Bremen
 -  Tretschok   11      32    0.34    4      Hertha BSC Berlin
 4  Thom        10      28    0.36    3      Hertha BSC Berlin
 -  Wosz        10      31    0.32    3      Hertha BSC Berlin
 -  Greiner     10      31    0.32    1      VfL Wolfsburg
 7  Wagner       9      21    0.43    1      1.FC Kaiserslautern
 -  Beinlich     9      23    0.39    6      Bayer 04 Leverkusen
 -  Breitkreutz  9      25    0.36    3      Hansa Rostock
 -  Basler       9      27    0.33    5      FC Bayern Muenchen
 -  Moeller      9      30    0.30    7      Borussia Dortmund


2.Liga 1998-99

A sensational season, not so much from a quality of play standpoint, but from the final results. Arminia Bielefeld entered as one of the favorites, and by and large, they lived up to the billing, winning the title.

The sensation was the play of the "dwarfs", SpVgg Unterhaching and SSV Ulm, who also gained promotion to the Bundesliga! Ulm was picked by almost everybody to be immediately relegated, and Unterhaching has few resources, and even fewer fans. But both clubs were consistently good throughout the season, and only a slow finish prevented either club from winning the title outright.

Newcomers Hannover and Berlin were expected to be good, and they lived up to the billing. Meanwhile, Karlsruhe's goal of immediate promotion was not achieved, as they choked when they needed some clutch results. The other Bundesliga dropout, 1.FC Koeln, had a disastrous season.

At the bottom, four West teams take the drop, and they basically all sucked.


THE STANDINGS:
                                G       GF:GA  Diff    Pts
 1. Arminia Bielefeld (A)	34	62:32	+30	67
 2. SpVgg Unterhaching		34	47:30	+17	63
 3. SSV Ulm 1846 (N)		34	63:51	+12	58
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 4. Hannover 96 (N)		34	52:36	+16	57
 5. Karlsruher SC (A)		34	54:44	+10	56
 6. Tennis Borussia Berlin (N)	34	48:39	+9	55
 7. FSV Mainz 05		34	48:44	+4	50
 8. SpVgg Greuther Fuerth 	34	40:31	+9	49	
 9. FC St.Pauli 		34	49:46	+3	45
10. 1.FC Koeln (A)		34	46:54	-8	43
11. Energie Cottbus 		34	48:42	+6	41
12. RW Oberhausen (N)		34	40:47	-7	41
13. Kickers Stuttgart		34	39:53	-14	41
14. Fortuna Koeln		34	49:55	-6	40
----------------------------------------------------------
15. FC Guetersloh		34	40:58	-18	37
16. KFC Uerdingen		34	32:55	-23	31
17. SG Wattenscheid 09 		34	31:46	-15	30
18. Fortuna Duesseldorf 	34	35:59	-24	28

A = Absteiger, just relegated from Bundesliga
N = Neuling, just promoted from Regionalliga

Top Goalscorers:
---------------

Bruno Labbadia 	(Bielefeld)	28
Rainer Krieg	(KSC)		19
Arie van Lent	(Furth)		16
Dragan Trkulja	(Ulm)		14
Achim Weber	(Oberhausen)	14
Thomas Brdaric	(Koeln)		13
David Zdrilic	(Ulm)		12
	

Regionalliga Nord 1998-99

The Regionalliga Nord went down to final week, in unexpected fashion. After last year's battle with Hannover 96, ex-Bundesligist Eintracht Braunschweig was the towering favorite, almost conceded by everybody. And early on, they kept a steady pace, although relegated Meppen and Osnabrueck kept pace. Then about mid season, EB began to falter, and in desperate attempts to stay on course, began to fire their coaches left and right. However, Osnabrueck was putting on a blistering pace, and it soon looked like a runaway freight train. Perhaps the "Lilacs" rested too soon, as quietly Luebeck put together a marvelous home stretch. In the penultimate round, in front of a packed house, they defeated Osnabrueck 1-0 and took over the lead. However, the Schleswig-Holstein derby would play a decisive role. While Osnabrueck struggled nervously past Arminia Hannover, Holstein Kiel stunned their neighbors 2-1, handing the championship to the Westphalians.

Aside from Braunschweig ending up in the dust, there were a few other surprises. Meppen totally tanked the 2nd half of the season. Ex 2.Liga club Oldenburg got off to a horrendous start, but in the final third got things going right to sail into safe waters. Kickers Emden had been a contender only a couple of years ago, and now have reached bottom. As for the other two relegated clubs, Herzlake was pretty much lame and fell off, and Ricklingen never even got out of the starting gate.


STANDINGS:
                                G       GF:GA  Diff    Pts
 1. VfL Osnabrueck		34	67:26	+41	74
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 2. VfB Luebeck			34	73:33	+40	73
 3. Eintracht Braunschweig	34	71:42	+29	64
 4. Werder Bremen Amat.		34	81:54	+27	56
 5. Eintracht Nordhorn 		34	55:54	+1	52
 6. Tus Celle FC		34	59:54	+5	51
 7. SV Wilhelmshaven 92		34	53:50	+3	49
 8. Lueneburger SK (N)		34	51:49	+2	46
 9. VfB Oldenburg 		34	59:58	+1	46
10. BV Cloppenburg (N)		34	53:53	 0	45
11. SV Meppen (A)	        34	42:46	-4	45
12. SC Norderstedt		34	43:49	-10	45
13. Arminia Hannover 		34	37:42	-5	43
14. Holstein Kiel (N)		34	44:60	-16	42
15. Hamburger SV Amat.		34	38:60	-22	38
----------------------------------------------------------
16. Kickers Emden		34	49:65	-16	34
17. VfL Hasetal Herzlake	34	44:83	-39	25
18. SpFr Ricklingen		34	33:70	-37	24


A = Absteiger; relegated previous season from 2.Liga
N = Neuling; promoted previous season from Oberliga

Top Goalscorers:
---------------
26	Daniel Bärwolf	(Lübeck)
22	Daniel Thoune	(Osnabrück)
17	Marinus Bester	(Lüneburg)


Regionalliga Nordost 1998-99

The Regionalliga Nordost race was very exciting in 98-99, with at least six teams involved in the title chase. In the end, Chemnitz put together a powerful stretch run, and ran away with the title. Their stingy defense was the key to victory.

VfB Leipzig and FSV Zwickau were another two ex-2.Liga clubs that held the lead on several occasions. However, they began to fade when faced with Chemnitz' blistering final stretch run. Magdeburg put in an excellent effort, and Plauen was a surprise all season long.

For Union Berlin, the season ends bitterly. Midway through the year, Union was gathering steam, and looked like perhaps the team to beat. However, when everybody else went into the last lap, they choked and croaked.

Another team experiencing a disastrous season was famed Dynamo Dresden. Early on, they were even in serious relegation trouble. However, towards the end they were able to stabilize. FC Berlin had an ineventful season, however they made big news: the members voted to go back to the old name of BFC Dynamo Berlin.

In the bottom, the only surprise was perhaps the other Dresden team, DSC, managing to stay up. Eisenhuettenstadt and Croatia were clearly too weak for salvation. A good final third of the season was enough for Babelsberg to reach momentary safety, pending outcomes of the 2.Liga and promotion playoffs.

An interesting note is to look at last year's standings: Tennis Borussia ran away from the start and were promoted to the 2.Liga. However, Dynamo Dresden was runner up, Eisenhuettenstadt 3rd and Sachsen Leipzig 4th!


FINAL STANDINGS:
                                 G      GF:GA  Diff    Pts
 1. Chemnitzer FC		 34     59:12	+47	77
----------------------------------------------------------
 2. VfB Leipzig (A)		 34	59:28	+31	70
 3. 1.FC Magdeburg 		 34     55:35	+20	64
 4. FSV Zwickau (A)		 34	54:35	+19	64
 5. VFC Plauen			 34     56:42	+14	59
 6. Union Berlin		 34     57:27   +30	57
 7. Erzgebirge Aue		 34	48:38	+10	53
 8. Dynamo Berlin		 34	47:37	+10	53
 9. FC Carl Zeiss Jena (A)	 34	36:38	-2	48	
10. RW Erfurt			 34	40:45	-5	45
11. Dynamo Dresden		 34	43:44	-1	38
12. Lok Altmark Stendal		 34	34:57	-23	38
13. Dresdner SC (N)		 34	31:51	-20	36	
14. Sachsen Leipzig		 34     41:62	-21	35
15. SV Babelsberg 		 34	36:50	-14	34
----------------------------------------------------------
16. Spandauer SV		 34	31:54	-23	27
17. FC Stahl Eisenhuettenstdt.	 34	31:62	-31	23
18. SD Croatia Berlin (N)	 34	20:61	-41	21

A = Absteiger, newly relegated from 2.Liga
N = Neuling, newly promoted from Oberliga

Top Goalscorers:
---------------
19	Rainer Wiedemann	(Stendal)
16	Vesselin Popovic	(Zwickau)
14	Steffen Menze		(Union)


Regionalliga West-Südwest 1998-99

An exciting race ended in a somewhat sour note, with forcible relegation for Wuppertal and Homburg due to financial troubles. As a result, the laughable Salmrohr squad "saved" themselves. Only 17 clubs started the season, as apparently the 16th place team, Bonner SC, decided to opt for relegation into the Oberliga rather wait out the results of 2.Liga relegation.

At the top, Alemannia Aachen put together a brilliant stretch run of 11 consecutive wins to break open a tight race. Throughtout most of the year, at least 10 teams contended for the title and playoffs. In the end, Trier bagged the critical 2nd spot, with a stunning 2-1 away win in Siegen in the penultimate round. Favored Saarbruecken was the leader until a late collapse did them in. Muenster and Wuppertal dug themselves holes that made it difficult to climb out of.

At the bottom, Remscheid was clearly out. In fact, they went bankrupt and offered to forfeit all their games at midseason, but then raised enough money to finish out the season. Despite being outmanned, they fought valiantly. Erkenschwick was also outclassed. Salmrohr also deserved the drop, but it they'll benefit from Wuppertal and Homburg being forced out. Somewhat disgraceful, but there you have it.


STANDINGS:
                                 G      GF:GA  Diff    Pts
 1. Alemannia Aachen		 32     56:38	+18	64
 2. Eintracht Trier		 32	62:37	+25	60
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 3. SpFr Siegen 		 32	48:24	+24	54
 4. Preussen Muenster		 32	60:36	+24	53
 5. 1.FC Saarbruecken		 32	53:38	+15	53
 6. LR Ahlen			 32     55:41	+14	53
 7. SC Paderborn 07		 32	51:39	+12	53
 8. Wuppertaler SV (*)		 32	62:54	+8	53
 9. Bayer Leverkusen Amat (N)	 32     58:47	+11	49
10. SC Verl			 32     55:56	-1	47
11. 1.FC Kaisersl. Amat. 	 32	62:48	+14	45
12. SV Elversberg (N)		 32	35:40	-5	39
13. FC Homburg	(*)		 32	29:49	-20	36
14. Bor. Dortmund Amat. (N)	 32	46:57	-11 	33
15. FSV Salmrohr		 32	38:59	-21	29
----------------------------------------------------------
16. SpVgg Erkenschwick		 32	29:77	-47	15
17. FC Remscheid		 32	23:83	-60	10
		

A = Absteiger; relegated previous year from 2.Liga
N = Neuling; promoted previous year from Oberliga
* = Wuppertal and Homburg forcibly relegated due to financial shenanigans

Top Goalscorers:
---------------
19	Daniel Graf	(FCK)
17	Vlado Papic	(Trier)
17	Christian Timm	(Dortmund)


Regionalliga Süd 1998-99

Ex-Bundesligists Waldhof Mannheim and Kickers Offenbach battled all season long for supremacy, and nobody else really challenged. Reutlingen stayed close and was in striking distance to overtake KO, but then collapsed totally at the end of the season. Waldhof started to pull away near the end, and Offenbach glided home as well. Both clubs gained promotion to the 2.Liga.

So while the top two places were never really in question, the mediocre middle was ho-hum. However, the bottom turned out to be the ringer. The fight against relegation was extremely hard fought. On the last day, about 6 teams were still up in the air, and several others had barely secured a safe spot. As it was, FSV Frankfurt, which had been given up for lost, managed to save themselves with a brilliant victory. SC Pfullendorf could have gone down as the only team to have a positive goal difference and still be relegated. However, when Offenbach won the promotion playoff, SCP was assured another year.

  
STANDINGS:
                                 G      GF:GA  Diff    Pts
 1. SV Waldhof Mannheim		 34	57:25	+32	71
 2. Kickers Offenbach 		 34	71:38	+33	68
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 3. SSV Reutlingen		 34	54:30	+24	56
 4. VfB Stuttgart Amat. (N)	 34	54:48	+6	53
 5. FC Schweinfurt (N)		 34	51:43	+8	51 
 6. SV Wehen 			 34	47:56	-9	51
 7. Wacker Burghausen		 34	50:42	+8	50
 8. FC Bayern Muenchen Amat.	 34     53:41	+12	48  
 9. 1860 Muenchen Amat. 	 34	49:51	-2	45
10. VfR Mannheim		 34	33:45	-12	40
11. Karlsruher SC Amat.		 34	51:52	-1	39
12. TSF Ditzingen		 34	43:57	-14	39
13. Borussia Fulda		 34	45:69	-24	39
14. FC Augsburg			 34	42:57	-15	38
15. FSV Frankfurt (N)		 34	45:62	-17	38
----------------------------------------------------------
16. SC Pfullendorf (N)		 34	38:37	+1	37
17. SC Weismain			 34	42:53	-11	36
18. SC Neukirchen		 34	43:62	-19	35


A = Absteiger; relegated previous year from 2.Liga
N = Neuling; promoted previous year from Oberliga

SC Pfullendorf stays up due to Kickers Offenbach gaining promotion to the
2.Liga

Top Goalscorers:
---------------
23	Mario Maric	(Reutlingen)
16	Oliver Roth	(Offenbach)
16	Thorsten Seufert (Schweinfurt)	


(c) Abseits Guide to Germany