In the Bundesliga, SC Sand only has the mathematical possibility of staying in the league. The team around coach Alexander Fischinger is hoping for the sand miracle – after all, they’ve done it before.
A hangover on a Monday is nothing unusual, even in football. At SC Sand, however, this Monday had little to do with cold drinks or cabin parties, quite the contrary. “Before the game we talked about the last straw, after the game we have to talk about the very last straw that we can hang on to,” captain Michaela Brandenburg told SWR Sport.
The last straw was Sunday’s match against Essen-Schoenebeck, in which Sand was held 1-1. A victory would have been so important against direct competition in the fight for relegation. Brandenburg and her teammates felt the same immediately after the final whistle on Sunday, and some even had tears in their eyes.
Nothing is impossible
The captain also struggled to classify the point in the relegation battle early on, one thing is clear: “It doesn’t make the whole situation any easier, but it’s still not over.” Because: in purely mathematical terms, the traditional club can still survive in the league. Five points currently separate Sand from a non-relegation zone, which can be achieved with three games remaining this season. But competition from Essen should also drop to tenth or, hopefully, Werder Bremen to ninth. “It may seem impossible for some, but maybe this much more difficult situation will help us to pool all our forces,” Brandenburg believes.
They know difficult situations in the sand. Last season, for example, many had already written off the SC, but coach Alexander Fischinger launched a frantic race to catch up with his team. They scored ten points in the last four games of the season and secured relegation with an emotional win over Leverkusen on the final day of the game. The stories of this final push also give Sand fans and officials hope.
Bitter goal against Essen
“As long as we win, we are still in the race. And that’s why we don’t give up, we try everything possible and hope for another miracle in the sand,” says coach Fischinger. His team would have taken a decisive step towards the miracle of the sand with a victory against Essen. It was all the more bitter as Vivien Endemann equalized after a handball from Essen. “The conceded goal was controversial,” Fischinger said more diplomatically.
Because he also knows: what counts is the factual decision of the referee in the game, who apparently had not seen the handball with his team. On the other hand, it was clearly visible on television images, but there are no video referees in the Bundesliga. “I have to accept it, the team gave it their all, it wasn’t enough,” said Fischinger.
Happy to be standing
The pressure in the remaining three games of the season is now enormous – especially as Sand has to play in Freiburg, against Cologne and at TSG Hoffenheim. Fischinger still wants to make another tactical change – not on the pitch, but in terms of approach: “Just to take the pressure off the team. Everyone knows the situation, and now we should have the joy and the passion to bring it back to the fore.” The lightness it should return to the game of SC Sand.
And the tactics of experienced coaches have already worked. “After the course of the season, it is clear that it is a very difficult undertaking”, admits Sascha Reiß, the sporting director. “On the other hand, Clay is known for his miracles in football.” And then after the sand miracle, there would be a very different hangover.