Dynamo Dresden return to the 2. Bundesiga with their win over VfL Osnabrück in Relegation Playoff

American co-trainer Joe Enochs and his Northern-German side Osnabrück were relegated to the 3. Bundesliga while 7 times East-German champions Dynamo Dresden make their return to the 2. Bundesliga after scoring twice in extra time of the second leg of the relegation playoff.

For the third year running the 2. Bundesliga team lost its’ play off match against the team from the 3. Liga. This time around Osnabrück lost to a motivated Dresden side 4-2 on aggregate, after two exciting matches.  After the 1-1 draw in Dresden both sides were still very much in it.  Osnabrück in particular had the advantage of their away goal from the first leg.

The match

The match between Osnabrück and Dresden was a hard fought battle at times.

The first goal of the match was scored by Osnabrück defender Jan Mauersberger: The former Bayern youth academy prospect headed the ball into the goal and past Benjamin Kirsten after a cross from Alexander Schnetzler in the 45th minute.

Cristian Fiel brought the sides to level terms with a deflected free kick that after.  Fiel sent the ball into Osnabrück’s box only to hit Norwegian Flamur Kastrati who unfortunately turned the ball into his own net in the 67th minute.

The score stood at 1-1 as referee Florian Kinnhöfer blew the final whistle. This meant that after 90 minutes, the  fate of the two sides was to be decided in overtime.

It did not take long for Dresden to make an impact and just four minutes into overtime loan striker Dani Schahin managed to get his head onto a corner kick, putting his side  2-1 up.  The pressure visibly increased as Osnabrück now needed two goals to overcome the aggregate and to stay in the 2. Bundesliga.  Despite a late push from Joe Enochs and his team they never managed to find the right answer after Dynamo took the lead.

As Osnabrück pushed for the equalizer they left themselves exposed and Robert Koch made it 3-1 just a minute from time.  The goal added insult to injury and the former team of Matthias Sammer and Ulf Kirsten ensured they would once more play in the 2. Bundesliga.

A brief detour through Dynamo’s history

Glory days: This is Dynamo Dresden's championship winning side from 1976.

Founded on April 12th 1953, Dynamo Dresden started out as several clubs from Dresden joined forces. Amongst those teams were also the SG Deutsche Volkspolizei Dresden, a team then affiliated with the East-German police. During the existence of the G.D.R., Dynamo Dresden was the most successful team of that country. The team won 8 league titles, and 7 domestic cup.

Dynamo Dresden were one of the two East German sides that had qualified for the Bundesliga after German reunification by coming second in their last Oberliga season. Despite success in the time of the split, the team spent their first couple of seasons in the bottom half of the Bundesliga. In that time period Dynamo elected construction business owner Rolf-Jürgen Otto as their new president (1993).

With Otto in charge financial problems at Dresden started to mount. First vice-president Walter Hoff had to give the club 3 million DM before the 93/94 season. Before the 94/95 season a local VW dealer gave the club 5 million DM to create the illusion that the club broke even on paper. After their football license was granted, those 5 million DM were quickly returned to their former owner.

At the end of the 94/95 season Dynamo had accumulated a debt of around 10 million DM. Even a last plea by Rolf-Jürgen Otto in front of representatives in city hall, where he asked them crying to grant the club 10 million DM loan, did not prevent what had been coming for a long time due to the irresponsible economic mismanagement.  The DFB decided to pull Dynamo Dresden’s license for both the Bundesliga and for the 2. Bundesliga. Otto was later arrested and convicted in criminal court for illegal dealings.

Dynamo finished last in the 94/95 Bundesliga season, and had to swallow the bitter pill of being relegated to the Regionalliga Nordost due to the mismanagement of the club.

Dynamo Dresden's fans celebrating the club's promotion to the 2. Bundesliga in 2004.

But more hardship followed for the club. The team was relegated from the third tier of German football in 2000. They managed to return to the third tier in 2002, and played two season in the 2. Bundesliga after being promoted in 2004 but were relegated once more in 2006.  Dynamo has since then been a third tier team.

Problems for Dynamo Dresden ahead

Dynamo are burdened with a 8.5 million Euros mountain of debt due to the economic malpractice that drove the club out of the Bundesliga in the early 90s.

The club is currently in need of 830.000 Euros to secure a license for the 2. Bundesliga according to manager Volker Oppitz. 600.000 of those 830.000 Euros are already in place due to deals with Dynamo’s sponsors.

The city of Dresden has to help the club, according to Oppitz, if the club wants to stand a chance of getting a license. If the city of Dresden would not pitch in, Oppitz says, “it would be an herculean task to get the money for next season in place.”

From a sportive perspective  Dynamo have a tough road ahead as well. The club will loose its’ most prolific midfielder Alexander Esswein, who will play for Nürnberg next season while Striker Dani Schahin was only at the club on a loan basis. It is at this point unclear if Schahin will stay at the club or return to his parent club Greuter Fürth. Replacing Esswein will be a tough proposition for Dynamo as will replacing their centre forward since both were crucial in their promotion.

Match stats VfL Osnabrück vs Dynamo Dresden:
Goals: 1 vs. 3
Possession: 47.4% vs. 52.6%
Shots: 21 vs. 17
Corner kicks: 8 vs. 10
Yellow cards: 4 vs. 4
Fouls: 34 vs. 27
Offsides: 0 vs. 4
Duels won: 51% vs. 49%(total number of duels: 194)
Passes: 262 vs. 292
Successful passes: 71% vs. 71%

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.


  1. We’ll have Hansa Rostock back alongside Dresden.

    Energie Cottbus, Union Berlin and Erzgebirge Aue have all had decent seasons this year, and none of them were threatened by relegation at the end of the season.

    Cottbus have the best chances of getting into to the Bundesliga next season imo, while Hansa have the foundation to get there within a few years.

    I hope that Dresden can get there within the next ten years. Their current management has done a great job, and they’ll try to move up with a low budget.(Much like Mainz and Freiburg have done, so it is possible).

  2. Liked this one–the analysis with the history for an incoming 2.Bundesliga side below the radar. How many former East German clubs will be in the 2 next season?

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