(CNN) — Borussia Dortmund squandered a golden chance to become Bundesliga champions and break Bayern Munich’s ten-year reign as holders: they drew 2-2 at home to Mainz while Bayern beat Cologne 2-1 in one of the most exciting season finales of recent years.
Before the final day, the title was within reach of Dortmund: they had two points ahead of Bayern at the top of the table, had the advantage of the field for their last match and even a parade was planned.
Bayern Munich did not depend on themselves as they demanded 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 one minute from regulation time, Dortmund were ready to be crowned champions. Despite trailing 2-1 in their own game against Mainz, Bayern conceded an 81st-minute equalizer against Cologne to give Dortmund a point lead in the standings.
When news of the Cologne goal broke at Signal Iduna Park, the crowd erupted into a momentary frenzy as fans cheered and hugged. After all, there were only nine minutes left in regulation time and every drumbeat in the stadium brought Dortmund a second closer to their first title since 2012.
But the timid euphoria of the fans was fleeting, crushed eight minutes later when Jamal Musiala rammed the ball into the net, restoring Bayern’s lead in the 89th minute.
There were five minutes left and there was still time for another twist. Nicklas Sule’s goal made it 2-2 at the last possible minute and Dortmund kept pressing.
The final whistle sounded soon after, however, and the Dortmund players collapsed to the ground, lamenting a title that somehow slipped through their fingers in the most agonizing way.
Around them, the stadium fell into a stunned silence, as fans tried to make sense of what they had seen. They cheered coach Edin Terzić, a Dortmund fan since childhood, who stood in front of them crying.
Everywhere in Germany, in Cologne, traveling Bayern supporters celebrated with their team the lifting of the Meisterschale.
The final day had the worst possible start for Dortmund as they conceded two goals in the first 25 minutes.
First, Andreas Hip-Olsen put Mainz ahead in the 15th minute before Sebastian Haller, who returned to Dortmund in January after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer, missed a penalty that would have equalized 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.
Despite all the late drama, it was a deficit that Dortmund ultimately couldn’t overturn and will have to grieve countless missed chances in their final game of the season.
By Bayern Munich’s high standards, this season was disappointing and immediately 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 general manager, while Salihamidžić’s successor has yet to be decided, the Bayern statement added.