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50 years in the Bundesliga

Promotion series, part 5: The play-off round

26 June 1965, 17:42, full time at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, FC Bayern beat Tennis Borussia Berlin 8-0 - done and dusted: FC Bayern are finally promoted to the Bundesliga.

Today, Friday 26 June 2015, is the fiftieth anniversary of that promotion. Looking back at that great achievement, brings you a five-part series on the rise of FC Bayern as they set out on the road to conquering the world of football, in Germany and across the globe.

Promotion series, part 5: The play-off round

“We went into the play-offs in 1965 with a feeling of unshakeable confidence,” explained Franz Beckenbauer long after the event. As in the previous season, Bayern were the favourites from the start in their group. The opponents were Tennis Borussia Berlin (champions of the Berlin Regional League), FC Saarbrücken (champions of the Regional League South-West) and Alemannia Aachen (runners-up in the Regional League West).

29 May 1965: FC Bayern 2-0 Tennis Borussia Berlin

20,000 fans made their way to the Grünwalder Stadium in pouring rain to see an impressive FC Bayern perform. Cajkovski’s side were superior to the visitors from Berlin in every way and deservedly earned a victory thanks to a brace from  Gerd Müller (15 and 64). That put the Reds top of the group.

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Drescher, Beckenbauer, Kupferschmidt - Nafziger, Ohlhauser, Müller, Grosser, Brenninger

5 June 1965: FC Saarbrücken 1-0 FC Bayern

Bayern besieged the opposition goal but were unable to break through. Half a dozen gilt-edged chances for Bayern went begging as Saarbrücken goalkeeper Dieter Haßdenteufel frustrated Ohlhauser, Müller & Co. At the other end, the visitors had one breakaway attack that saw striker Emil Poklitar score on 43 minutes to secure a more than flattering win. FCB managing director Walter Fembeck suffered a heart attack after the game. Were FCB in line for a repeat of the previous play-off campaign a year earlier? Aachen (3 points) took over at the top from Bayern (2) - the two sides met six days later.

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Drescher, Beckenbauer, Kupferschmidt - Nafziger, Ohlhauser, Müller, Grosser, Brenninger

13 June 1965: FC Bayern 2-1 Alemannia Aachen

Bayern held their nerve in a tense encounter with Aachen. The visitors packed their defence at the Grünwalder Stadium and they made life very difficult  for Bayern. Aachen almost took the lead but Alfred Glenski’s shot on 16 minutes rebounded back into play off the underside of the bar. Franz Beckenbauer picked out Müller just before the break and Gerd converted to make it 1-0 on 40 minutes. Then came a setback after the restart: Glenski netted the leveller from a corner on 58 minutes. Bayern upped their efforts on the opposition goal - and, with seven minutes to play, Ohlhauser fired home a volley and put the Reds 2-1 up, to the joy of the 42,000 crowd. FCB were back on top of the table (4 points) ahead of Aachen (3) and Berlin (3).

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Drescher, Beckenbauer, Kupferschmidt - Nafziger, Ohlhauser, Müller, Koulmann, Brenninger

16 June 1965: Alemannia Aachen 1-1 FC Bayern

Just three days after the narrow victory in Munich it was Bayern’s turn to travel north to the Tivoli Stadium in Aachen. The hosts had to win and they put Bayern under intense pressure. However, the young FCB team showed incredible maturity and Ohlhauser exploited a defensive error to net the opener on 32 minutes. The Reds were caught cold after the restart when Franz-Josef Nacken scored the equaliser on 46 minutes. Luck was on the Reds’ side - Bayern made three goal-line clearances - and Sepp Maier rescued a vital point for FC Bayern. The table: FC Bayern (5), Aachen (4), Saarbrücken (4), Berlin (3).

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Grosser, Beckenbauer, Borutta - Nafziger, Drescher, Ohlhauser, Müller, Brenninger

19 June 1965: FC Bayern 5-0 FC Saarbrücken

The 45,000 fans at the Grünwalder Stadium still had the unlucky 1-0 reverse from the previous meeting in their minds when the sides met for the reverse fixture on a sultry afternoon. FC Bayern ran the show again - and this time they were unstoppable in front of goal. Ohlhauser (5) scored the only goal of the first half but Nafziger (57), Beckenbauer (58) and Müller (63) wrapped it up with three goals in seven minutes. Müller added his second on 73 minutes and the game ended in a 5-0 win for the Reds. “We couldn’t have prevented the hammering even if we’d had two keepers,” said Saarbrücken’s coach Jupp Derwall. And he added: “Tschik, we can congratulate you. This Bayern side with its youthful joy and exuberance is by far the best team in the group. Bayern are playing some great football and they would definitely add to the Bundesliga.” Cajkovski was keen not to go too far: “You can congratulate us on this game but not on reaching the Bundesliga just yet.” Bayern (7) went into the final play-off game one point ahead of Aachen (6).

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Grosser, Beckenbauer, Borutta - Nafziger, Müller, Ohlhauser, Drescher, Brenninger

26 June 1965: Tennis Borussia Berlin 0-8 FC Bayern

Four from Ohlhauser (13, 16, 46, 88), two from Nafziger (83, 85), Müller (18) and Dieter Brenninger (65) – an FCB gala at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin left no doubts about promotion to the Bundesliga, and the Reds could even have won by an even greater margin. FC Bayern played with great freedom and they enjoyed huge support from the 15,000 spectators at the stadium in Berlin: a number of fans invaded the pitch during the game. Referee Erwin Sturm blew the final whistle at 17.42, and promotion was done and dusted!

Bayern line-up: Maier - Kunstwadl, Olk - Grosser, Beckenbauer, Borutta - Nafziger, Müller, Ohlhauser, Drescher, Brenninger

Airport, Nockherberg, Tegernsee

The return to Munich saw 6,000 fans greet Bayern at Riem Airport. “The thrilled fans broke through the barriers on the runway,” recalled Beckenbauer in his autobiography “Gentleman on the Ball”. The FCB official history to mark the 70th anniversary of the club reads: “Celebration rained down for the team who finally reached the place where they already belonged in 1963 - in the top division.”

The open-top procession made its way to Munich for the official promotion party at Nockherberg. “We drank Deinhard Lila, president Neudecker’s favourite Sekt, out of litre pots washed down with wheat beer,” recalled Werner Olk, “we were all done in after two or three hours and we just wanted to go to bed.”

Wilhelm Neudecker had to keep another promise at the end of the celebrations: “If we get to the Bundesliga, I’ll march round Lake Tegern,” announced the FCB president during the play-offs. He was joined by 500 Bayern fans on 10 July on the 27.5 kilometre stretch round the lake. Bundesliga, we’re on our way!