90' + 5'
After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, it is advantage for Bundesliga 2 side Union Berlin as they take two away goals into the second leg which takes place on Monday. Twice the capital club came from behind to respond to a Stuttgart goal, showing their fight and desire. But it is certainly all the play for in the second leg where extra-time and penalties are only possible with another 2-2 draw.
90' + 4'
Andersson's header at the near post produces an incredible save from Zieler to keep the scores level in the final moments.
We're now into four minutes of added time in this first leg.
Felix Kroos - the brother of former Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Toni - is now suspended for the second leg after picking up a yellow card.
TIME RUNNING OUT...
You can see a desperation from the Stuttgart players to go and get another goal. A 2-2 draw - with the away goal rule in play - is certainly a stronger result for the Bundesliga 2 side at this stage, but it is far from over yet.
WHAT A STRIKE!
A mistake from Kabak as he misses a clearance and the ball falls to Andersson who volleys at goal. It's looping towards the top corner of the Stuttgart net, but Zieler pulls off an incredible save to tip the ball over his own crossbar. That would have been a worthy winner for the second division outfit.
GONZALEZ HEADS AT GOAL...
But the keeper makes a save. A deflected cross from Pavard loops into the box and Gonzalez makes a perfect run to meet it, but can only head the ball into the middle of the goal.
ONE MORE GOAL IN THIS?
Union will, of course, be incredibly happy with how this game has gone so far but there are still going to be chances for either side to graba winner on the night here in Stuttgart. It's an open game with both sides playing with an attacking mindset.
WHAT A HEADER!
Marvin Friedrich - the man whose deflection took Stuttgart ahead - has brought Union level with their second away goal. He rises highest towards the back post to meet a corner and power a superb header into the bottom corner across goal. Incredible result so far for the Bundesliga 2 side.
GOAL!2 : 2
ENTERTAINING TIE SO FAR
You can tell how tense and nervous both sides here, and how much they also want to win. It is being shown in their play, but thankfully it is not taking away any risk in what the players are looking to produce.
ZIELER ALMOST CAUGHT OUT
The Stuttgart goalkeeper comes out and clears the ball from the edge of his box but the ball only goes as far as Mees, just on for the away side. His shot is blocked though.
STUTTGART STARTING IN STYLE
It has been a changed performance so far from the home side in this second half. In total control of the ball, but now also making the most of it with good wing play and creative moment.
STUTTGART GET THE LUCKY BOUNCE
An incredible run from Gomez is rewarded in the cruelist way on Union. The former German international powers forward from deep, showing his pace and strength despite his age, and shoots at goal. It deflects off of Friedrich's boot and onto the defender's face, which sends the ball rolling towards goal with no-one to stop it...
GOAL!2 : 1
GOMEZ GOES CLOSE
Donis once again the creator for Stuttgart, with the Greek forward full of confidence. He produces a stepover to create space in front of Trimmel and crosses low into the box. Gomez stretches to reach it, but just isn't quite tall enough.
The second half begins in Stuttgart with a change for the home side, as Mario Gomez comes on at the break in place of Daniel Didavi.
78 seconds after the first goal, Union are level. A long ball froward is flicked on by Andersson and Abdullahi, who is able to poke the ball past Zieler having battled with the Stuttgart defence, brings the away side level. A huge away goal for the Bundesliga 2 team, and before the half-time break.
GOAL!1 : 1
What an incredible run and assist from Donis. It's all him, as the Greek forward races down the right - beating two Union players along the way - before cutting the ball back to Gentner around the penalty spot, who has to stretch to meet the ball on his left foot and does enough to push the ball over the line.
GOAL!1 : 0
Gonzalez has time and space to make sure with his volley as a ball runs loose towards him at the back corner of the box, but he sends his shot high over the Union crossbar instead. A frustrating half for the home side.
The home side might have had a decent proportion of the possession in this game so far, but it is the away side who look the most likely to score at the moment. The away side are doing more iwth their possession, especially down the wings against Pavard and Insua.
INSUA HAS A GO...
A free-kick is cleared out of the Union box by the away side's defence but only as far as Insua, but his volley is always rising as it drifts over the crossbar.
The Swede is on the end of another low ball into the box, this time from the left, which he is able to poke at goal. This time it goes straight into the hands of Zieler in the middle of his goal.
OUTSTANDING FROM DONIS
The Greek striker brings down the ball on his chest just outside the box, and pushes the ball forward through three Union defenders with some slick movement. His cut back is blocked, but the movement will strike fear into the Berlin defence.
Andersson battles between two Stuttgart defenders to reach a cross from the right wing into the box. It comes in low and the forward pokes the ball at goal, but Zieler is somehow able to parry the ball over his own crossbar to keep it out. The biggest moment in the tie so far.
CALM WITHIN THE STORM
The game has calmed down slightly here, but the atmosphere has not here in Stuttgart. Like a heartbeat, the home and away fans are pushing their team on. Stuttgart enjoying most of the possession so far, but no further chances since the early few for either side.
JUST WIDE FROM GONZALEZ
The Argentinian forward cuts inside from the left wing onto his right foot with some space ahead of him as he enters the box. He shoots towards the near post, but drags his effort just inchces too far past the post.
FIRST CHANCE FOR UNION
Andersson rises highest from a free-kick to head the ball at goal as the home crowd goes quiet, but the ball drifts wide of goal. Union are starting this game totally fearless. Showing their form as one of the top teams in the Bundesliga 2 this season.
DONIS SHOT SAVED
The first shot on goal of the game produces a solid save from the Union shot-stopper, Gikiewicz, who is able to kick away Donis' low shot following a counter led by Didavi for the home side.
AWAY GOALS RULE COUNTS
A piece of information for those wondering. The away goals rule does indeed count in the relegation/promotion play-off.
FINAL PAVARD HOME GAME
The French World Cup winner is playing in his final home game for Stuttgart. Whether the Bundesliga side survive the play-off or not, he will be playing in the Bundesliga next season, with Bayern Munich.
WHAT AN ATMOSPHERE!
The Mercedes-Benz Arena is bouncing as the players take to the pitch. The home fans are supporting a team in a position they never wished them to be in, but now it is up to them and the players to get them out of it.
UNION VIEWING PARTY
The away side tonight have support from back at home, with thousands of fans flocking to the An der Alten Försterei stadium to watch the game live on a big screen in Berlin this evening.
UNION PUSHING FOR HISTORY!
If they beat Stuttgart over two legs, it will be the first time that the German capital club have reached the Bundesliga. Union Berlin would become the 56th team to play in the Bundesliga with a win in this play-off.
WE MEET AGAIN...
The last time these two sides met back in April 2017, only seven players from the two current squads were involved: Insua, Pavard and Gentner from Stuttgart, and Trimmel, Kroos, Polter and Parensen from Union.
UNION BERLIN STARTING LINE-UP!
Gikiewicz - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Parensen, Reichel - Schmiedebach - Prömel, Zulj, Abdullahi - Andersson, Hartel (SUBS: Moser, Mees, Polter, Gogia, Rapp, Kroos, Lenz)
STUTTGART STARTING LINE-UP!
Zieler – Pavard, Kempf, Kabak, Insua – Akolo, Castro, Gentner (c), Didavi – Donis, Gonzalez (SUBS: Grahl, Aogo, Zuber, Esswein, Sosa, Gomez, Badstuber)
These teams have only met twice in the past, with both fixtures coming in the 2016/17 Bundesliga 2 season. Back then the sides drew 1-1 in Berlin, but Stuttgart won 3-1 on home turf.
The incumbent Bundesliga team has stayed up via the play-offs for each of the last six years (Wolfsburg in 2018 and 2017, Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016, Hamburg in 2015 and 2014 and Hoffenheim in 2013), so Stuttgart are very much the favourites here prior to kick-off. The last time a Bundesliga 2 side earned promotion via this route was Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2012, when they recorded a 4-3 aggregate victory over Hertha Berlin.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this evening's promotion / relegation play-off first leg! As a reminder of the format, as Stuttgart finished 16th (third bottom) of the Bundesliga table, they go head-to-head with Union Berlin, who finished third in Bundesliga 2 for a place in Germany's top flight next season. Today's first leg takes place in Stuttgart, before the decisive second leg in Berlin on Monday.
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Stuttgart vs. Union Berlin from matchday 1 of the 2018/19 Relegation Bundesliga season at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Check back here for full information on the match.