Lower Saxony derby
The Lower Saxony derby (German: Niedersachsenderby) usually refers to a match between the two Lower Saxonian association football clubs Hannover 96 und Eintracht Braunschweig. As of 2017, 147 such matches have taken place, of which Eintracht Braunschweig won 66 and Hannover 96 won 54; 27 matches ended in a draw.
The cities of Hanover und Braunschweig are only 55 km (34 mi) apart. In the media, matches of the two teams against VfL Wolfsburg and in part also against VfL Osnabrück are called Lower Saxony derbies; this view is not shared by many supporters and club officials.
The beginnings (1905–1963)
Eintracht Braunschweig was founded in 1895, Hannover 96 one year later as Hannoverscher Fußball-Club. The first match between the two teams took place in the first decade of the 1900s. Hannover 96 won the German championship in 1938 and 1954. Until the 1962–63 season, Braunschweig won 54 matches, with Hannover winning 38 matches and 14 matches ending in a draw.
Foundation of the Bundesliga in 1963: Birth of the sports rivalry
After the decision to create a nationwide Bundesliga, three clubs from the Oberliga Nord were permitted to participate in the Bundesliga. Since Hamburger SV and Werder Bremen were directly admitted to the Bundesliga, only one free spot remained. Since Hannover 96 had the larger stadium, the higher average attendance and better financial prerequisites und was also ranked higher than Braunschweig in the German Football Association's twelve-year ranking, Hannover's officials were sure that they would receive the spot in the Bundesliga. Still, Braunschweig was awarded the spot on 6 May 1963, for which the only criterion was their final position in the 1962–63 season: while Hannover 96 finished in ninth place, Braunschweig had come in third. In Hanover, the decision was met with incomprehension and provoked major protests. However, the official lawsuit against the licensing was dismissed. Many see the circumstances of the Bundesliga foundation as the cause or at least as a reinforcement of the rivalry between the clubs and their supporters.
Eintracht Braunschweig won the German championship in the 1966–67 season, but lost both season matches against Hannover 96.
In the recent past, the duels between Hannover and Braunschweig have become a rarity due to league affiliation. In the 1996–97 and 1997–98 seasons, when Hannover 96 was relegated to the third-tier Regionalliga, both clubs played for the championship and the promotion play-offs until the end of the season; Hannover 96 won the championship in the Regionalliga Nord both seasons. In 1998, the championship was decided through a win in the direct duel on the second-to-last matchday. A similar situation also occurred in the 2016–17 season, when Hannover was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga after 14 years in the Bundesliga and duelled Eintracht Braunschweig for a direct promotion spot until the last matchday. Hannover's win in the match against Braunschweig on the 29th matchday was co-deciding in this season. Braunschweig's last win against Hannover dates back to the 29th matchday of the 2013–14 Bundesliga season. However, the club was relegated at the end of the season, while Hannover remained in the Bundesliga.
In recent years, matches between the two clubs are always classified as high-risk matches by the police and extensive security measures are taken to contain the always massive riots of the fans during the derby.
Other Lower Saxony derbies
The matches of Hannover 96 and Eintracht Braunschweig against VfL Wolfsburg are also occasionally called Lower Saxony derbies, since VfL Wolfsburg is also based in Lower Saxony and has played in the Bundesliga since 1997. However, in public perception these matches are only seen as "real" derbies to a lesser extent, since especially the fan scenes of the other two clubs do not view Wolfsburg as a "real" club that is rich in tradition. The 2017 Bundesliga promotion/relegation play-offs between Braunschweig and Wolfsburg, both cities only 30 km (19 mi) apart, was an exception as it was unusually charged due to the high stakes.
SV Meppen, which played in the 2. Bundesliga for a while in the 1990s, also played a few derbies against the Lower Saxonian northwestern rivals VfL Osnabrück and VfB Oldenburg as well as the then second-tier clubs Hannover 96 and Eintracht Braunschweig. Other teams that have played second-tier Lower Saxony derbies since the 1970s were Olympia Wilhelmshaven, Göttingen 05, Arminia Hannover, OSV Hannover and TSV Havelse.
Before the match in Hanover during the first half of the 2013–14 Bundesliga season, Braunschweig supporters provoked the home fans with a pig that ran through the Hanover city centre wearing a Hannover club scarf and with the number 96 painted onto its side. Also, crosses were put up in the Braunschweig area and supporters of both clubs initiated vigilante groups in front of their stadiums. Furthermore, a brewery from Braunschweig was Hannover's shirt sponsor in the 1980s. Eintracht Braunschweig supporters avoid saying the club name "Hannover 96" and also the number 96, which is replaced with "95+1".
Statistics since 1963
- As of 15 April 2017
Hannover 96 win Draw Eintracht Braunschweig win
|1964–65||26 Sep 1964||Hannover||Braunschweig||2–2|
|13 Feb 1965||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–2|
|1965–66||11 Sep 1965||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–1|
|7 Apr 1966||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|1966–67||12 Nov 1966||Hannover||Braunschweig||4–2|
|29 Apr 1967||Braunschweig||Hannover||0–1|
|1967–68||14 Oct 1967||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|16 Mar 1968||Braunschweig||Hannover||0–1|
|1968–69||16 Nov 1968||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|23 May 1969||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–3|
|1969–70||23 Aug 1969||Braunschweig||Hannover||1–1|
|3 Mar 1970||Hannover||Braunschweig||0–2|
|1970–71||31 Oct 1970||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–0|
|8 May 1971||Braunschweig||Hannover||0–4|
|1971–72||1 Sep 1971||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–0|
|19 Feb 1972||Hannover||Braunschweig||3–0|
|1972–73||25 Nov 1972||Hannover||Braunschweig||2–1|
|26 May 1973||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–2|
|1975–76||25 Oct 1975||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–2|
|17 Apr 1976||Hannover||Braunschweig||2–0|
|2013–14||8 Nov 2013||Hannover||Braunschweig||0–0|
|6 Apr 2014||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–0|
|1980–81||26 Sep 1980||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|20 Mar 1981||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–0|
|1986–87||12 Sep 1986||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–0|
|3 Apr 1987||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|1989–90||28 Jul 1989||Braunschweig||Hannover||1–0|
|25 Nov 1989||Hannover||Braunschweig||3–0|
|1990–91||5 Sep 1990||Braunschweig||Hannover||0–1|
|28 Mar 1991||Hannover||Braunschweig||3–0|
|1991–92||21 Sep 1991||Braunschweig||Hannover||1–3|
|8 Dec 1991||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|1992–93||1 Aug 1992||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–2|
|28 Feb 1993||Hannover||Braunschweig||0–1|
|2016–17||6 Nov 2016||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–2|
|15 Apr 2017||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–0|
|1996–97||30 Aug 1996||Braunschweig||Hannover||3–2|
|12 Dec 1996||Hannover||Braunschweig||4–0|
|1997–98||9 Nov 1997||Hannover||Braunschweig||1–1|
|7 May 1998||Braunschweig||Hannover||0–1|
|2003–04||29 Oct 2003||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–0|
|1972–73||5 Jul 1972||Braunschweig||Hannover||2–0|
|26 Jul 1972||Hannover||Braunschweig||2–3|
|Competition||Matches||Hannover wins||Draws||Braunschweig wins||Goals|
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