1905-06: Leipzig is back

For the first time, the DFB could largely smile on the tournament, as none of the main rounds were canceled. And with consolidation of regional mini-confederations into larger groupings (e.g. North and Southeast), the bar was raised.

Regional competition was still uneven, but there were some interesting matches. In the very competitive Middle German region, VfB Leipzig was back in action, and they steamrollered their rival Viktoria Magdeburg 5-0. As usual, there was a scandal, and once again it involved famed Karlsruher FV. Often the favorite in the tournaments, the southwesterners were certainly one of the better clubs. But once again, they would be involved in a dispute that impacted the tournament. KFV had signed a player named Eugen Link from a local club, Franconia Karlsruher. However, Link was only supposed to play for KFV-II. Nevertheless, he played one game for the first team. This had dire consequences, as KFV was judged to have cheated and forced to forfeit all their matches. As a result, 1.FC Pforzheim and Hanau 93 would face off for the southern title, and in somewhat of a surprise, Pforzheim won the match 5-3.

The largest regional competition was still Berlin, divided into the Berlin and the Märkische leagues. Defending champion Union 92 was automatically seeded - this was lucky for them, as they limped home in 5th place in the Berlin league. The new star on the block was Hertha (yes, the forerunner of Hertha BSC).

The main rounds featured some lopsided results. Leipzig annihilated Märkisch champion Berlin Norden-Nordwest 9:1. The Leipzigers unveiled their new playmaking star Camillo Ugi, who combined with goalscorer Edgar Blüher and Heinrich Riso. Oldtimer Bert Friedrich was also still in the squad, along with a couple more veterans from the 1st championship team. Hertha also had an easy time, smacking Breslau silly. This wasn't too much of a shock, as the eastern/southeastern leagues were considerably weaker. A huge match in Hamburg saw Berliner Union rise to the occasion and pull somewhat of a surprise win over host Victoria.

The semifinals saw Leipzig prevail over Hertha, and in somewhat of a shock, the defending champion Union went down in flames to Pforzheim.

Pforzheim did manage to hurt themselves before the match even started. After a 5 hour train trip to Nürnberg, they arrived early morning for the finals. But instead of resting at the hotel or preparing for the match, the players went sightseeing, along with some detours at the local pubs. When they finally arrived at their hotel, it was time for the match to begin. Meanwhile, Leipzig had arrived the day before, and were well rested. The match itself reflected the state of affairs. Although Pforzheim managed to equalize Leipzig's early goal, by halftime they were clearly exhausted, and in the 2nd half merely doggedly defended their goal. But it was Heinrich Riso who grabbed the game winner shortly before the whistle. Interestingly enough, Riso also missed a penalty during the major. The story is that Leipzig felt they had in fact been awarded the penalty in error, and therefore Riso sportingly deliberately shot past the goal. An interesting story, but it does illustrate that referee decisions were constantly under criticism throughout the tournament, and the DFB needed some work in this area.

VfB Leipzig 	     -  BFC Norden-Nordwest	9:1 (4:0)	2,000
Victoria Hamburg     -  Berliner Union 1892	1:3 (0:1)
Schlesien Breslau    -  BFC Hertha Berlin	1:7 
1.FC Pforzheim	     -  Cölner FC 99		4:2 aet

BFC Hertha 1892      -  VfB Leipzig		2:3 (2:3)	2,000
Berliner Union 1892  -  1.FC Pforzheim		0:4 (0:0)

Finals: (Nürnberg)

VfB Leipzig 	-	1.FC Pforzheim		2:1 (1:1)	1,000

1:0 Blüher (15.), 1:1 Stöhr (25.), 2:1 Riso (85.)

(c) Abseits Guide to German Football: