Mission Erfüllt

…Or how to survive relegation without really understanding how…

In case you’ve been following the story

And as I have time between beers and watching Jennifer Lopez pretend to be a singer on Wetten Dass.

We won our last game of the season 10-1. Against 8 men. Medizin Friedrichshain have problems getting players on Saturdays. And your intrepid reporter scored the first goal with a ludicrous dummy-cross shot which looped into the top corner. Expertly. After a few minutes. I also set up three more (although only got the credit for two assist). Flo, my partner on the right flank for most of the season (when I wasn’t in goal) scored two and got three assists.

Prenzlauer Berg kicked off an hour earlier, and won 4-0 against Grasshoppers, who also didn’t/couldn’t field a full team. Our manager wouldn’t tell us this score until after the game though.

Rudow kicked off an hour after us, so as we enjoyed a post-game beer on the pitch (before the downpour started), we had no idea if we were safe or relegated. We found out a few hours later (some of the team in the pub, me at home) that Rudow lost to second in the league, so that left all of us level for the last relegation place on 27 points on Berlin Freizeitliga Survival Sunday.

Except our goal difference was the worst. Despite our win.

We had known for a few days that, while goal difference was usually a decisive factor, for promotion or relegation, head-to-head was the decisive factor.

We received confirmation about 17:00 that we were safe. We had beaten Rudow twice, and won one and lost one against Prenzlauer Berg. And Rudow and Prenzlauer Berg had split their games.

Rudow ended up going down.

And a few of their players have since made remarks on our team’s guestbook (in German).

I understand their point. We won most of our games by one goal, and then beat a good mid-table game by such a margin. But Prenzlauer Berg also beat an under-manned team this week.

I have spent the last week or two saying we deserved to go down to everyone who listened to me.

But the more I think about it, the more I like this kind of tie-breaker. It removes the walkovers and such from games, and takes it down to the nuts and bolts of a team’s battle against it’s direct competition for a place.

And fortunately for us, we had done well against those two teams.

And unfortunately not well enough against the others to avoid this situation.

About Neil

28 years old. Geordie. Lived in Berlin almost three years. All-round canny lad.
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