Werder Bremen claimed a 2-0 victory at home to Jahn Regensburg on the final day of the Bundesliga 2 season to secure their immediate return to the top flight alongside Schalke, while Hamburg came from behind to pip Darmstadt to third place and a chance in the promotion/relegation play-off against Hertha Berlin.
Bremen came into the final day knowing a point would guarantee their immediate return to the Bundesliga, but that victory could see them crowned Bundesliga 2 champions. They raced out of the blocks and had the ball in the net inside seven minutes when Mitchell Weiser was slipped in, but the offside flag halted early celebrations at a capacity wohninvest Weserstadion. Disappointment lasted only three minutes, however, until Marvin Ducksch knocked the ball into the path of strike partner Niclas Füllkrug, and he buried off the inside of the post from 18 yards. With league leaders Schalke in front, top spot would be out of reach but promotion secured. Werder looked to keep things cool and calm, allowing Regensburg the ball but keeping them at arm’s length and allowing no clear chances.
The visitors had two chances immediately after the restart from corners, but Nicklas Shipnoski saw his effort blocked and Carlo Boukhalfa headed over. Again, Werder struck with their first chance of the half. Romano Schmid showed strength to turn his man in the box and force a save out of third-choice goalkeeper Alexander Weidinger, but it only fell to Ducksch to tap home into an empty net. Leonardo Bittencourt struck the post late on, but it didn’t dampen spirits inside the Weserstadion. The full-time whistle shortly after sparked jubilation as the club bounced back from last season’s relegation at the first time of asking, joining division winners Schalke back in the Bundesliga for 2022/23.
- Ducksch took his total for the campaign to 21 and Füllkrug his to 19, meaning they scored 40 of Bremen’s 65 goals.
- The pair have also combined for 10 goals.
- Add in nine assists and Ducksch ends the season with 30 goal contributions in 33 appearances. Only Simon Terodde had a hand in more goals with 34.
- Füllkrug’s goal was his fifth from outside the area – a league high together with Ducksch.
- Werder also bounced straight back in their only previous season in Bundesliga 2 (1980/81).
- Ole Werner has earned 43 points from his 19 matches in charge of Bremen (2.3 per game).
Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic, Toprak (c), Friedl - Weiser (Agu 90’), Groß (Gruev 90’), Jung - Bittencourt (Rapp 79’), Schmid (Schmidt 56’) - Füllkrug, Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Assale, Mai, Woltemade, Dinkci
Coach: Ole Werner
Regensburg: Weidinger - Saller (Otto 85’), Breitkreuz, Elvedi, Wekesser - Beste (Makridis 68’), Gimber (c), Besuschkow (Faber 85’), Shipnoski (Yildirim 68’) - Boukhalfa (Zwarts 75’), Albers
Unused subs: Kunz, Kennedy, Nachreiner, Caliskaner
Out: Guwara (knock), Meyer (knee), Singh (pubic bone)
Coach: Mersad Selimbegovic
Matchday 34 round-up
Nuremberg 1-2 Schalke
Goals: 0-1 Zalazar (16'), 1-1 Schleimer (86') 1-2 Terodde (88')
Two points clear and with a fairly substantial goal difference advantage over Werder, Schalke went into the final day knowing that a point at Nuremberg would in all likelihood be enough to seal the second division title. And the Royal Blues put themselves on course to the lift the trophy in stunning fashion as Rodrigo Zalazar lobbed Nuremberg goalkeeper Carl Klaus from inside his own half. Not only was it a late entry for the Goal of the Season award - one that surely won’t be beaten - but Zalazar’s wonder goal was also fully deserving of putting the bow on a league title. Lukas Schleimer threatened to spoil the fun for Schalke but top scorer Simon Terodde quickly responded to guarantee the win, and the title.
Watch: Schalke crowned Bundesliga 2 champions with win in Nuremberg
Hansa Rostock 2-3 Hamburg
Goals: 1-0 Neidhardt (13’), 1-1 Glatzel (50’), 1-2 Schonlau (75’), 1-3 Kaufmann (85’), 2-3 Fröde (90’+1)
Hamburg will face Hertha in the promotion/relegation play-off after coming from behind to beat Hansa Rostock 3-2. HSV went 1-0 down to an early Nico Neidhart goal and, with Darmstadt beating Paderborn, slipped to fourth in the table. However, a second-half fightback saved their bacon. Robert Glatzel and Sebastian Schonlau goals returned them to third, before Mikkel Kaufmann sealed the deal. Lukas Fröde’s late goal was merely academic for mid-table Hansa.
Watch: HSV snatch third place at Rostock
Darmstadt 3-0 Paderborn
Goals: 1-0 Skarke (2’), 2-0 Pfeiffer (25’), 3-0 Pfeiffer (38’)
Red card: Cuni (79’)
Darmstadt made light work of Paderborn, but missed out on a place in the play-offs because of results elsewhere. Things were looking good for the Lilies as they raced into a 3-0 lead through Tim Skarke and a Luca Pfeiffer brace. With Bremen winning and Hamburg losing at Rostock, they were third in the live table. However, HSV’s second-half comeback meant Darmstadt’s valiant efforts were all in vain. They finish fourth, on account of their inferior goal difference. Paderborn, who had Marvin Cuni sent off, end the campaign in seventh.
St. Pauli 2-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 Hartel (65'), 2-0 Dzwigala (83')
Theoretically, Pauli still had a chance of promotion, starting the day three points back from Darmstadt and Hamburg. But their goal difference was quite some way inferior than the two teams above them so it would have taken something dramatic for Germany’s Kult Klub to be playing top-flight football next term. A goalless first half, paired with Darmstadt’s flying start against Paderborn meant that Pauli’s faint final day hopes were nothing more than that. Pauli did eventually take all three points, though, as Marcel Hartel first stroked the ball into the top corner from the edge of the Fortuna box and then Adam Dzwigala sealed the win late on. It also ended Daniel Thioune's 11-game unbeaten start in charge of Düsseldorf.
Hannover 3-2 Ingolstadt
Goals: 1-0 Heinloth o.g. (6'), 1-1 Sulejmani (12'), 2-1 Maina (56'), 3-1 Maina (74'), 3-2 Bilbija (76')
The hosts took just six minutes to take the lead against their already relegated visitors, with Ingolstadt conceding in a manner befitting what has been a disappointing campaign as Michael Heinloth could only rattle into his own net. But Ingolstadt were soon level as Valmir Sulejmani levelled things up six minutes later with just the Kosovan striker’s second league goal of the season. Cologne-bound Linton Maina restored the home team’s lead early in the second half and made it 3-1 with his second of the match soon after. Ingolstadt went back within one of their hosts just two minutes later as Filip Bilbija found the back of the net but Hannover held firm.
Sandhausen 3-1 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 1-0 Dumic (9'), 2-0 Bachmann (13'), 3-0 Kinsombi (35'), 3-1 Skrzybski (54')
A superb first-half performance wrapped up all three points for Sandhausen against Kiel. First Tom Trybull, then Janik Bachmann and Dario Dumic took part in a private game of head tennis before the latter fired home inside 10 minutes. Bachmann then used his head to nod home at the near post from a corner and Christian Kinsombi soon made it 3-0 thanks to the work of Erik Zenga who claimed the ball on the edge of his own penalty area before freeing Kinsombi with a raking long ball. Steven Skrzybski’s excellent volley pulled one back after the break but it was ultimately nothing but a consolation.
Dynamo Dresden 0-1 Erzgebirge Aue
Goals: 0-1 Kühn (53')
While Aue are definitely playing third division football next season, Dynamo still have a chance of retaining their Bundesliga 2 status. They will face third-placed Kaiserslautern of the third tier in the promotion/relegation playoff, so the visit of Aue gave them the chance to put some form together before that two-legged showdown. It was Aue, however, that drew first blood thanks to Nicolas Kühn’s backpost tap-in eight minutes into the second period. That would be enough for Aue to bow out of Bundesliga 2 with just their sixth win of the season. As for Dynamo, they will now refocus ahead of putting their second division future on the line in the play-offs.
Heidenheim 2-0 Karlsruhe
Goals: 1-0 Sessa (38'), 2-0 Sessa (42')
With Heidenheim guaranteed of a top-half finish and Karlsruhe’s safety well secured, both teams went into the final day with few concerns. The hosts had even fewer worries when, seven minutes before the break, Kevin Sessa turned on the edge of the six-yard box and fired home his maiden goal of the season. Within four minutes of his first, Sessa had a second for the campaign to send Heidenheim into the break with a two-goal lead. Sessa turned provider for Tim Kleindienst to round the keeper and tap into an empty net but the 26-year-old’s strike was scrubbed out for offside.
Hoffenheim part company with Hoeneß
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