Jackson Irvine (l.) struck early in the second half as St. Pauli stayed the course for automatic promotion. - © IMAGO/Steinbrenner
Jackson Irvine (l.) struck early in the second half as St. Pauli stayed the course for automatic promotion. - © IMAGO/Steinbrenner
2. Bundesliga

Bundesliga 2, Matchday 31: St. Pauli beat Hansa Rostock, Kiel fall to Kaiserslautern, Schalke and Fortuna draw


St. Pauli are guaranteed at least the play-off spot after defeating Hansa Rostock, but Holstein Kiel failed to do the same as they were beaten at home by strugglers Kaiserslautern. Fortuna Düsseldorf failed to take full advantage after drawing at troubled Schalke.

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Matchday 31 results

St. Pauli 1-0 Hansa Rostock
Goals: 1-0 Irvine (53’)

Promotion hopefuls St. Pauli took another step towards sealing a place in the Bundesliga next season thanks to a narrow victory over relegation candidates Hansa Rostock. The stakes could hardly have been higher for either side, but it was the visitors who began the brighter, with their aggression and high pressing causing Pauli problems initially. The hosts were much improved after the break though, and took all three points after Jackson Irvine scored the only goal of the game when he headed in from a corner shortly after the restart.

Holstein Kiel 1-3 Kaiserslautern
Goals: 0-1 Hanslik 13', 1-1 Bernhardsson 25', 1-2 Kaloč 45'+4, 1-3 Ritter 83'

Holstein Kiel missed out on the chance to all but secure their place in next season's Bundesliga as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat against DFB Cup finalists Kaiserslautern. They were behind within the opening 15 minutes as former player Daniel Hanslik rose highest to head in from a corner, but Alexander Bernhardsson finished off a quick counter to restore parity before the half-hour mark. As the half-time whistle beckoned, Filip Kaloč struck from the edge of the penalty to give his a crucial lead in their bid to beat the drop and, despite Kiel's best efforts, Marlon Ritter's late strike was the only other goal in the encounter. Despite the loss - their first in seven games - Kiel will still earn promotion if they win two of their last three games, while Kaiserslautern move out of the automatic relegation spots.

Schalke 1-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf 
Goals: 1-0 Karaman 55', 1-1 Tanaka 67'

Promotion-chasing Fortuna's six-game winning streak came to an end at the Veltins-Arena where Schalke earned a valuable point in their fight against relegation. Former Düsseldorf player Kenan Karaman put the hosts ahead ten minutes after the restart but Fortuna responded via Ao Tanaka's seventh goal of the season shortly afterwards. The visitors - in third place - moved to within five points of second-placed Kiel with three games to play. 

Eintracht Braunschweig 0-4 Hamburg
Goals: 0-1 Glatzel 9', 0-2 Glatzel 22', 0-3 Jatta 69', 0-4 Reis 84'

Hamburg kept their hopes of promotion alive as they strolled to a comfortable 4-0 victory away at Eintracht Braunschweig. They were in front within nine minutes through Robert Glatzel and his 17th league goal of the campaign before the centre-forward added his 18th following a quick counter-attack midway through the half. There was little chance of a Braunschweig comeback, and any hopes of a miracle were extinguished when Bakary Jatta buried another quick move. From distance, Ludovit Reis added extra gloss to the scoreline late on. While HSV remain dependant on Fortuna Düsseldorf slip-ups, they will be happy to get back to winning ways after two games without a triumph, while Braunschweig remain in danger of relegation.

Hertha Berlin 1-1 Hannover
Goals: 1-0 Kempf (13’), 1-1 Leopold (90’+3)

Hannover snatched a stoppage-time equaliser in the German capital on Friday, a result which ended both teams’ lingering outside chances of sneaking into the promotion play-off spot by the end of the season. A fast-paced match from the outset, Marc-Oliver Kempf opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a well-placed header from a corner. However, Hannover were the better side thereafter and hit the woodwork twice before half-time. It wasn’t until deep into second-half stoppage-time that they were rewarded for their efforts though, Enzo Leopold heading in a last-gasp leveller to ensure the visitors a share of the spoils.

Paderborn 3-1 Elversberg
Goals: 0-1 Sickinger 51' (pen.), 1-1 Grimaldi 54', 2-1 Obermair 61' (pen.), 3-1 Conteh 75'

Paderborn came from behind to pick up all three points as they defeated Elversberg 3-1 on home turf. The first half was evenly matched before a frantic 30 minutes followed the restart. First, Carlo Sickinger gave the visitors the lead from the spot after Hugo Vandermersch was fouled in the penalty area by Aaron Zehnter, only for Adriano Grimaldi to head home and equalise almost immediately. The hosts were then awarded a penalty of their own when Sickinger felled Filip Bilbija, and Raphael Obermair made no mistake from 12 yards. Then, Sirlord Conteh put the game to bed, tapping home at the back post to secure the victory. Paderborn move up to seventh as a result, while Elversberg are four places further back.

Magdeburg 1-1 Osnabrück
Goals: 1-0 Teixeira 41' (pen.), 1-1 Gnaase 44' (pen.)

A relegation six-pointer ended with one point each which was bad news for Osnabrück. Things could have been worse for the league's bottom side who needed some heroics from goalkeeper Philipp Kühn to keep them in the match in the first-half, but he couldn't go anything about Bryan Teixeira from the spot. Dave Gnaase replied with a penalty of his own three minutes later, and although things evened out in the second 45, a winner couldn't be found, which wasn't great news for either side. VfL are now seven points from potential safety with nine points up for grabs, while Magdeburg are still in a relegation battle, only five points clear of danger.

Nuremberg 0-1 Karlsruher
Goals: 0-1 Matanović 37'

In-form Karlsruher kept their promotion hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Nuremburg that could have easily been more. Despite being the away side, Christian Eichner's men barely let their opponents out of their own half in their first 45 minutes and capitalised on their dominance through their top scorer Igor Matanović who grabbed his 14th of the season. Cristian Fiél made four changes for the home side at the break and thought he'd been rewarded when the referee pointed to the spot, but the call was overturned by a VAR review, ensuring that his side extended their losing streak to four games. Nuremburg stay five points from the bottom three.

Wehen Wiesbaden 3-5 Greuther Fürth
Goals: 1-0 Prtajin 3', 2-0 Agrafiotis 18', 2-1 Hrgota 26', 2-2 Sieb 38', 2-3 Sieb 43', 3-3 Prtajin 72' (pen.), 3-4 Petkov 84', 3-5 Hrgota 90+6' 

It was a case of saving the best until last in the Bundesliga 2 on Matchday 31 as Wiesbaden and Fürth staged an eight-goal thriller. Unlike their previous meeting in November that got off to a cagey start, the match was end-to-end from the referee's first whistle. Scoring two goals from their first two shots, Wiesbaden had the Brita-Arena dreaming of survival. Fürth weren't to be deterred, though, and strung together some brilliant passing football to enter the dressing room at half time a goal up at 3-2. The tide looked like it was again turning in the second period when Hrgota skied his penalty before Prtajin buried his to make it 3-3. Petkov scored the decisive goal for the away side, though, and then Hrgota made amends for his penalty miss with a glorious solo effort in stoppage time. Just a few hours later Wiesbaden called time on head coach Markus Kauczinski's tenure, having gone winless in five matches.

Watch: The top 5 goals on Matchday 31

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