Borussia Mönchengladbach 12–0 Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund
Event 1977–78 Bundesliga
Matchday 34
Date 29 April 1978 (1978-04-29)
Venue Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
Man of the Match Jupp Heynckes
(Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Referee Ferdinand Biwersi (Bliesransbach)
Attendance 38,000

On 29 April 1978, the final match day of the 1977–78 Fußball-Bundesliga season, Borussia Mönchengladbach played Borussia Dortmund with the possibility of winning the Bundesliga championship. Knowing that if 1. FC Köln won their game away to FC St. Pauli, Borussia Mönchengladbach would have to win by a margin well in excess of ten goals. The match finished 12–0, which, as of 2016, is still the largest margin of victory and biggest win in any Bundesliga game.[1][2][3] However, 1. FC Köln beat FC St. Pauli 5–0 to become champions.


Borussia Mönchengladbach went into the match with Borussia Dortmund as reigning Bundesliga champions of the previous season.[4] Having only won two of their first seven league games in the autumn of 1977,[5] they had managed to reach second place in the table after 22 games.[6] With the final round of games, the league championship went down to the wire with both Mönchengladbach and 1. FC Köln equal on points, but 1. FC Köln having a far superior goal difference of +10.[7]

Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, were struggling to gain ground in their second consecutive season in the Bundesliga after promotion in 1976. Three games previously, the club had secured their Bundesliga status for the following year with a 2–0 away win over FC Schalke 04.[8] Horst Bertram, Dortmund's number one goalkeeper, had just recovered from injury,[9] but Dortmund's coach Otto Rehhagel decided to start with second-choice goalie Peter Endrulat, giving him a chance to present himself. Endrulat, however, was told the morning before the game, that his contract would not be extended close-season.[10]



The Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf where the match took place.
The Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf, scene of Borussia Mönchengladbach's record Bundesliga victory
A photo of Ewald Lienen, one of the goalscorers.
Ewald Lienen came off the bench to score the penultimate goal in the 12–0 win

38,000 fans made it to the Rheinstadion in Düsseldorf since Mönchengladbach's usual home ground, the Bökelbergstadion, was being renovated.[11] The match was refereed by Ferdinand Biwersi.

Although Mönchengladbach were not anticipating to win what would have been their sixth Bundesliga title, they were, nonetheless, highly motivated going into the game. Jupp Heynckes gave the home side the lead after just one minute of playing time had elapsed[2] and in the 32nd minute, had made it 5–0 with his third goal of the game to complete his hat-trick.[1] Going into the half-time break, the score was 6–0.[2]

Otto Rehhagel gave a brief talk to his players during at half-time, calling upon the team to play on for their honour.[9] No substitutes were made since no player from the bench wanted to come onto the pitch. Rehhagel asked Endrulat if he would like to be substituted, but the Dortmund goalkeeper said he had no problem with playing on.[9] He later concluded however that this had been the wrong decision:

When I think about it today, I realise I should have left the field at half-time. Then, at least, Horst Bertram would have let in six of the goals. I'm absolutely certain of that. Most people forget that I actually saved a lot of shots, at least those which were indeed possible to save.

In the second half, Mönchengladbach's flurry of shots on goal didn't stop. Heynckes and Carsten Nielsen had made it 8–0 by the hour mark, at which time Otto Rehhagel had asked Sigfried Held to warm-up and get ready to go onto the pitch, but Held declined, saying: "Coach, do you really think I can make a difference to the outcome of the game?"[1] Shortly afterwards, Karl Del'Haye had made the scoreline 9–0.

People were asking from the bench how many more goals we'd need to score in order to beat Köln to the title. Whilst the scoreline was 9–0, they wanted three more, to which I replied "have you gone crazy?"

After further goals from Heynckes, substitute Ewald Lienen and Christian Kulik, the match finished with a final score of 12–0. Since there were no ball boys in the 1970s, the referee had to go and fetch the balls which had been shot past Dortmund's goal.[2]


29 April 1978 (1978-04-29)
15:30 CET
Borussia Mönchengladbach 12–0 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Dortmund
GK 1 West Germany Wolfgang Kleff
CB 2 West Germany Berti Vogts
CB 4 West Germany Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp
CB 3 West Germany Wilfried Hannes
RM 6 West Germany Horst Wohlers
CM 10West Germany Christian Kulik
CM 8 West Germany Herbert Wimmer (c)
LM 5 Denmark Carsten Nielsen
RW 9 West Germany Karl Del'Haye
CF 11West Germany Jupp Heynckes
LW 7 Denmark Allan Simonsen  77'
MF 13West Germany Ewald Lienen  77'
West Germany Udo Lattek
GK 1 West Germany Peter Endrulat
RB West Germany Amand Theis
CB West Germany Werner Schneider
CB West Germany Lothar Huber
LB West Germany Herbert Meyer
RM West Germany Burkhard Segler
CM West Germany Miroslav Votava
CM West Germany Hans-Joachim Wagner
LM West Germany Manfred Burgsmüller (c)
CF West Germany Wolfgang Frank
CF West Germany Peter Geyer
West Germany Otto Rehhagel

Man of the Match:
West Germany Jupp Heynckes (Borussia Mönchengladbach)[2][3]


A photo of the football manager Otto Rehhagel.
Borussia Dortmund coach Otto Rehhagel was sacked the day after the game

In spite of their 12–0 victory, Mönchengladbach missed out on the league title since 1. FC Köln beat FC St. Pauli 5–0 in Hamburg[13][14] and became champions thanks to their slightly better goal difference.[14] The supporters of St. Pauli had become skeptical when the intermediate results from Mönchengladbach had been announced and started to cheer for the team from Cologne. After the game they celebrated the championship with the guests, and a long-lasting friendship between the supporters of both teams started.[15] This was 1. FC Köln's third and, as of 2016, last Bundesliga title.[16]

1977–78 Fußball-Bundesliga: extract from the final league table[17]
1 1. FC Köln (C) 34 22 4 8 86 41 +45 48:20
2 Borussia Mönchengladbach 34 20 8 6 86 44 +42 48:20
11 Borussia Dortmund 34 14 5 15 57 71 –14 33:35

The day after Mönchengladbach's record victory, Rehhagel was fired from his post as Dortmund manager.[2][14] Sigi Held was named as his replacement ad interim, and Carl-Heinz Rühl became the new coach on a permanent basis.[18]

You can imagine just how happy we were after the referee blew the final whistle. After the catastrophe I drove home with Otto Rehhagel who was also living in Essen at the time. On the way back, he said to me there would be a new manager the next day. He knew what would happen, and it wasn't even his fault, but Rehhagel would be made the scapegoat to save face for the club.
Borussia Dortmund captain Manfred Burgsmüller[2][10]

Borussia Dortmund fined all of their players 2000[1]–2500[19] Deutsche Mark for their shoddy performance.[1] The unlucky goalkeeper, Peter Endrulat, was sent packing to 2. Bundesliga team Tennis Borussia Berlin[9] and the team was ridiculed during friendly games for weeks afterwards.[1] Köln's goalkeeper, Toni Schumacher, said he was "disgusted"[20] by Dortmund's poor showing, but was "happy [Köln] had won the title in the end."[20]

Match-fixing suspicion

Suggestions[19] from the supervisory committee of the German Football Association (German: Kontrollausschuss des Deutschen Fußball-Bundes) that the match had been fixed were contested by Borussia Dortmund.[2] Defender Amand Theis explained that "in the end, every shot was a goal and we just gave up."[1] Borussia Mönchengladbach's Herbert Wimmer, for whom the 12–0 victory was his final Bundesliga game,[2] said in an interview that he was happy the club did not win the league that season, because it could have given more evidence to speculate match-fixing.[2] The German FA made their own enquiries and interviewed the Dortmund players,[19] giving them a dressing-down for their unsporting behaviour,[19] but chose not to press any charges.[1]

The corresponding fixture in the following season four months later at Mönchengladbach's Bökelbergstadion ended in a 2–2 draw.[1][21]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Stein, Thomas (28 April 2010). "Otto Torhagel und das dicke Dutzend". Der Westen (in German). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bröker, Jürgen (28 April 2008). "Darf's ein Törchen mehr sein?". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Rekordsieg: Gladbach feiert 30-jähriges Jubiläum". 11 Freunde (in German). 24 April 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  4. "Abschlusstabelle der Bundesliga 1976/1977". (in German). 21 May 1977. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  5. "Tabelle der Bundesliga 1977/1978 am 7. Spieltag". (in German). 10 September 1977. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  6. "Tabelle der Bundesliga 1977/1978 am 22. Spieltag". (in German). 21 January 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  7. "Tabelle der Bundesliga 1977/1978 am 33. Spieltag". (in German). 22 April 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  8. "FC Schalke 04 gegen Borussia Dortmund – 0:2". (in German). 1 April 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Endrulat, Peter (26 July 2010). "Ich hätte rausgehen sollen". 11 Freunde (in German). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  10. 1 2 Schulze-Marmeling, Dietrich (2005). Der Ruhm, der Traum und das Geld – Die Geschichte von Borussia Dortmund (in German). Göttingen: Verlag die Werkstatt. p. 169. ISBN 3-89533-480-4.
  11. Müller, Peter (16 December 2009). "Den Schlag auf die Zwölf vergisst beim BVB keiner". Der Westen (in German). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  12. Schütz, O. E. (24 April 2008). "Der Rekord, der nicht reichte". Rheinische Post (in German). Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  13. "FC St. Pauli gegen 1. FC Köln – 0:5". (in German). 29 April 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  14. 1 2 3 "Dortmund verlor mit "Torhagel" 0:12, der HSV schenkte zweimal ab". Bild (in German). 17 May 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  15. »Eine Generationenfrage«, 11Freunde, 12.09.2010
  16. "About 1. FC Köln". 1. FC Köln. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  17. "Abschlusstabelle der Bundesliga 1977/1978". (in German). 29 April 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  18. "Trainer des BVB". Borussia Dortmund (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  19. 1 2 3 4 Muras, Udo (16 May 2009). "Kuriose Schützenfeste im Endspurt der Bundesliga". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  20. 1 2 Neußer, Joachim; Zimmermann, Ulf (10 September 2009). "Das dreckige Dutzend". 11 Freunde (in German). Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  21. "Borussia Mönchengladbach gegen Borussia Dortmund – 2:2". (in German). 19 August 1978. Retrieved 28 September 2010.

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