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21.04.2024 / English

“Wear the lily on your chest with pride!”

Arm in arm, very close to each other. The left arm wrapped around the left, the right arm wrapped around the right next man. The heads are close together. The eleven lilies are in the team circle and they will play together in the Bundesliga game against 1. FC Köln from 3:30pm. Tobias Kempe speaks in the circle and looks deeply into his teammates' eyes. “Wear the lily on your chest with pride!” he says.

Foto: SV 98

When Tobias Kempe reported this scene after the final whistle, there was a great deal of relief in his voice. SV Darmstadt 98 won. Finally. After 22 games without a win, the Lilies picked up three points again against 1. FC Köln. A long time without such a sense of success. The 2-0? “It feels brutally good,” said Kempe. “A great feeling,” said Christoph Klarer elsewhere in the mixed zone. “We’re just happy,” Torsten Lieberknecht revealed at the press conference, where this time he didn’t have to congratulate the opposing club on their victory first.

Images that the entire sports club and its supporters had longed for for so long were also taken on the square in front of the curve. “I am very pleased that we have once again given the city of Darmstadt and our fans a Bundesliga victory,” said the head coach. The impressions of the full, blue and white guest block were still in the minds of not only Lieberknecht, but also all Darmstadt protagonists who stepped in front of the microphones after the 2-0 win. “Winning in this stadium in front of so many Darmstadt fans who have traveled with us is good for us and the whole club,” said Klarer happily and added enthusiastically: “It’s really cool when you’re standing in front of the curve and the entire guest block is full to the brim with blue and white fans.” It was not a given that 3,500 lilies made their way to Köln. After all, the SV 98 fans have already had to go through so much disappointment this season. But this impressive block of guests once again showed the solidarity that exists in this club.

We will do everything we can to represent the club in the league with decency and honour.

Christoph Klarer

And that despite the sporting situation. SV Darmstadt 98 is still bottom of the table even after beating 1. FC Köln 2-0. With a nine point gap to Mainz, who are in the relegation zone and who can still catch up on Sunday evening (April 21st/7:30 pm) away to SC Freiburg and have a significantly better goal difference, the Darmstadt team needs a really big football miracle. “We will do everything we can to represent the club with decency and honour in the league,” promised Klarer, but at the same time he had to admit: “We still know that we have dropped too many points in the past – especially in the season direct duels. That’s why we are where we are.”

Game on a knife edge

A direct duel was also the one against 1. FC Köln, who were also threatened with relegation. A game on the knife edge. SV 98 had not been able to win games like this so often in the last few weeks and months. But it wasn’t like that in the Rhineland. The Lilies finally showed themselves to be extremely efficient, scoring two goals despite fewer attempts on goal compared to their opponents. There was zero at the back. But more than that. The Darmstadt team showed “simply a good game,” as Kempe attested to his team. “We deserved to win 2-0,” said the number eleven from South Hesse.

“Wear the lily on your chest with pride!”

It was the sentence that Tobias Kempe chose in the team circle before kick-off. A good two hours later, after the final whistle, he stood in the mixed zone of Köln’s RheinEnergie Stadium and remembered his words. Wear the lily on your chest with pride. Kempe: “That’s exactly what everyone did today.”

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