Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Historic German Cup Run – Part II


In the 1979/80 season Dusseldorf were presented with an opportunity to do what few had done before them, defend the DFB Pokal. Only three clubs had successfully defended Germany’s most historic cup, those being Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt and Karlshurer.

Their attempt of joining the prestigious list started exceptionally well. Borussia Neunkirchen were the opposition, and to no surprise Dusseldorf were victorious against the amateur side, winning 4-0 with eight of the eleven who started in Hannover featuring.

Similar to the previous season Fortuna were fortunate with their cup draws. Whilst marching their way through to the latter stages, they won by some convincing scorelines; 4-1, 5-3 and 5-2, before stumbling across some tougher competition in the semi-finals.

Fortunen were to be dealt with a mouth-watering tie in the semi-final, all four participants were based in North Rhine-Westphalia, so whoever the opposition and wherever the match, Dusseldorf’s fanatic fan base were expected to come out in their droves.

Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 or FC Koln were the potential opposition. Whilst Dusseldorf would have loved to exert revenge on Koln, part of them would have wanted to avoid the current Bundesliga champions, and that turned out to be the case. Dusseldorf were drawn at home to Dortmund so both the Revierderby and Rhinederby was avoided, to the relief of local police.

Throughout the whole competition Dusseldorf had proved very strong when going forward. Fortuna’s front three in their 4-3-3 formation proved troublesome for everybody they came up against, K.Allofs, Seel and T.Allofs formed a deadly threesome that Dortmund weren’t able to contend with.

Both semi-finals were played at the same time, so as Dusseldorf walked off the pitch after their 3-1 they knew they’d be playing Koln in a rematch of 1977/78 final, the last match they lost in the Pokal.

The Billy Goats started much better of the two sides in the final and to no surprise they took the lead. In the 25th minute Koln captain Bernhard Cullmann put Effzeh one goal to the good, a score line they saw into half-time.

Keeping Dusseldorf at bay for 90 minutes just wasn’t possible at the time, so Koln needed to score another if they wanted a realistic chance of beating their local rivals to the trophy. But unfortunately for them that second goal didn’t come quick enough, Dusseldorf managed to get a foothold in the game.

On the 60th minute Wenzel equalised for Dusseldorf and caused a seismic shift in the match. Straight after Koln restarted the game it was relentless pressure from Dusseldorf, Koln could barely get out of their half.

Just five minutes after equalising Dusseldorf were on the hunt again; a fantastic lofted ball from Gerd Zewe to Thomas Allofs allowed him to cross for his brother to tap in from close range and send the fans into hysteria.

Klaus’ goal proved to be the final in the contest and Dusseldorf had added their name onto the illusive list of clubs to defend the DFB Pokal. They had put themselves into the history books, but they weren’t finished yet.


Fortuna’s unbeaten run had to come to an end at some time, and just as Dusseldorf could start to think about 4 consecutive finals and 3 trophies it came to a close.

The fantastic record which has stood for over 30 years fell to the hands of Hertha Berlin, one of the many teams that were squashed as a part of it. But Hertha had their opportunity to get revenge and they took it.

The real question now is how long will this record stand for? Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich find themselves on 9 wins to date and they’re leagues above most other sides in Germany right now – who are going to stop them?

Check out Part I here

Header courtesy of and © Horstmüller

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Lucas Swain

Lucas currently lives in Bristol, England but will soon reside elsewhere in the pursuit of a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Brought up supporting his local side, Bristol Rovers, he later adopted Fortuna Düsseldorf after a couple of visits to the ESPRIT Arena. Follow him on twitter @BundesligaLucas

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