SV STUTTGARTER KICKERS (Stadion auf der Waldau)

I found myself in Germany for another round of games as the Bundesliga season drew to it's conclusion.

The weekend though began with a Friday night Regionalliga game, at the Gazi-Stadion auf der Waldau, in the shadow of the TV tower, which is the home of Stuttgart Kickers.

The Kickers, founded in 1899, are on course to claim the Regionalliga Süd title and with it promotion to Liga 3 and, assuming their nearest challengers Großaspach match Kickers' results, they need just four points from the remaining three games to be crowned champions.

Kickers were founding members of Liga 3 back in 2008 but were relegated back to the Regionalliga after just one season. Tonight's opponents were lowly FC Memmingen, so this was as good a chance to stay on track for a return as they were ever going to get.

However, there is no accounting for what the pressure of a situation can do to a team and it's all about how you handle that pressure. Tonight was a case in point.

In front of a seasons best crowd of 5,400, it was an incredibly nervous performance from the Kickers and the game was settled by virtue of a scrappy goal after 15 minutes, Marco Grüttner netting the all important strike.

Despite total dominance of the the possession, Kickers could not find that elusive second goal that would have made the game easier. It was tense but they managed to hold on and take themselves within a point of the title.

However, within 48 hours, they would indeed be crowned champions as Großaspach lost 3-2 to Hoffenheim II. I would imagine Paul's beer caravan (right)  where I spent some valuable drinking time pre-match on Friday, would've been doing a roaring trade when that result came through!



Friday 4th May 2012
Regionalliga Süd
SV Stuttgarter Kickers 1-0 FC Memmingen
Attendance: 5,400

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