(CNN) — Borussia Dortmund squandered a golden opportunity to become Bundesliga champions and break Bayern Munich’s ten-year reign as holders: they drew 2-2 at home to Mainz as Bayern beat Köln 2-1 in the away match. one of the most emotional season finales in recent years.
Before the final matchday, the title was within Dortmund’s reach: they were two points clear of table-top Bayern, had home advantage going into the final game and a save had also been planned.
Bayern Munich were not up to themselves as they required a win and had to wait for a loss or a draw for Dortmund, who could win even losing if Bayern lost or drew.
And with just a minute left in regular time, Dortmund were poised to be crowned champions. Despite trailing 2-1 in their match against Mainz, Bayern conceded an 81st-minute equalizer against Köln to give Dortmund a point lead in the table.
When news of Köln’s goal leaked out at Signal Iduna Park, the crowd erupted into a momentary frenzy, as fans cheered and embraced. After all, there were only nine minutes left in regular time and every drumbeat in the stadium brought Dortmund a second closer to their first title since 2012.
But the fans’ timid euphoria was fleeting, crushed eight minutes later when Jamal Musiala slotted the ball into the net, giving Bayern the lead again in the 89th minute.
Five minutes to go and there was still time for another twist. Nicklas Sule’s goal made it 2-2 in the last possible minute and Dortmund continued to press.
The final whistle blew shortly after, however, and the Dortmund players collapsed to the ground, lamenting a title that had somehow slipped through their fingers in the most heartbreaking way.
Around them, the stadium fell into a stunned silence as the fans tried to comprehend what they had seen. They applauded coach Edin Terzić, a Dortmund fan since childhood, who stood crying in front of them.
Traveling Bayern fans across Germany celebrated the hoisting of the Meisterschale with their squad in Cologne.
The last matchday started in the worst way for Dortmund, who conceded two goals in the first 25 minutes.
First, Andreas Hanche-Olsen gave Mainz a 15th-minute lead before Sebastian Haller, who returned to Dortmund in January after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer, missed a penalty that would have leveled the score.
Karim Onisiwo doubled Mainz’s lead five minutes later, a dire situation for Dortmund made worse by events in Cologne, where Bayern Munich had taken a 1-0 lead after eight minutes.
For all the last-minute drama, it was a deficit Dortmund were ultimately unable to reverse and will have to lament countless missed opportunities going into the final game of the season.
By Bayern Munich’s high standards, this was a disappointing season and soon after winning the title, the club announced that CEO Oliver Kahn and board member Hasan Salihamidžić had been sacked.
Jan-Christian Dreesen has been appointed as the new chief executive, while Salihamidžić’s successor has yet to be decided, the Bayern statement added.