Union Berlin promoted to Bundesliga for first time as Stuttgart are relegated
Union Berlin have been promoted to the Bundesliga for their first time in their history after a 0-0 draw in their relegation play-off second leg sent Stuttgart down.
The two teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday and the 2. Bundesliga side held firm in the reverse fixture on Monday to win promotion on away goals and relegate their visitors.
Urs Fischer's side had missed out on automatic promotion to Paderborn on the final day of the season but shrugged off that disappointment to overcome a Stuttgart outfit who return to the second tier after two seasons in the Bundesliga.
Nico Willig's men thought they had forged ahead after nine minutes but Dennis Aogo's free-kick was ruled out by a VAR review as an offside Nicolas Gonzalez was adjudged to have impeded the goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz's view.
They've done it! Union Berlin are in the Bundesliga pic.twitter.com/q0Ei6utHSS— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) May 27, 2019
Stuttgart continued to do most of the pressing in the opening period, with Anastasios Donis flashing a low effort wide from inside the six-yard box and Gikiewicz pawing away Steven Zuber's long-range drive.
The hosts belatedly woke from their slumber after the interval and twice came agonisingly close to taking the lead shortly after the hour.
Suleiman Abdullahi crashed a left-footed effort off Ron-Robert Zieler's post and then just a minute later the Nigerian hit the same upright after latching onto a long ball.
Stuttgart almost preserved their Bundesliga status at the death but Gikiewicz flew to his left to keep out Benjamin Pavard's half-volley, the Bayern Munich-bound full-back unable to prevent his team from being relegated in his final game as the home supporters celebrated on the pitch at the full-time whistle.