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Relegation: Crying Uchino inconsolable – Allofs: “Attacking again”

Relegation: Crying Uchino inconsolable – Allofs: “Attacking again”

Tears, sadness, disbelief. Fortuna Düsseldorf misses the big chance to get into the Bundesliga.

Takashi Uchino sat on the stairs in the changing room corridor and cried for minutes. At 11:14 p.m., the Japanese right-back from Fortuna Düsseldorf shot the decisive penalty over the goal. The big dream of returning to the Bundesliga was over after the 14th penalty in the penalty shootout. The promotion party, which had already been planned after the clear 3-0 first leg victory, has been cancelled. Board member Klaus Allofs also had to process this for a while. “We were really close to being promoted to the Bundesliga. But our nerves didn’t hold out,” said the former national player.

The Düsseldorf fans nevertheless celebrated their team extensively after a successful season. “That leaves me speechless. It means a lot to us as a group that people still recognize what we have achieved,” said captain André Hoffmann, the second unlucky Düsseldorf player who lost 5:6 in the penalty shootout. Uchino missed the last penalty and Hoffmann missed the first for the Düsseldorf team, who could not believe their misfortune.

Coach Daniel Thioune was also noticeably affected. “There is a total emptiness. The team has had such an unbelievable year. I have seen so many tears, they don’t deserve that,” said Fortuna’s coach, who was also unable to fulfil his personal dream of playing in the Bundesliga. “This drama after 120 minutes and then seeing little Takashi sitting there, that really gets to me,” said the 49-year-old.

Despite the clear first leg victory, the coach had always reminded us that VfL was a Bundesliga team with certain qualities. “They showed us why they are a first division team. They were a size too big for us today,” said Thioune. Allofs was combative. “We didn’t play like we did recently today. These are experiences you have to have in football. But now we’re attacking again,” promised the 67-year-old. Allofs paid respect to Bochum: “They were an opponent who had nothing to lose. That’s the quality that a first division team has. We deserved to lose today.”

Source: Stern

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