Joel Pohjanpalo had threatened to spoil the party with his eigth-minute opener, but goals from Marc Vucinovic and Mario Vrancic ensured that the home fans had an historic moment to celebrate on the final day of the 2013/14 campaign.
Vrancic running the show
Andre Breitenreiter’s charges seemed unperturbed in the face of the biggest game in the club’s history, yet after dominating the opening exchanges, found themselves a goal down inside ten minutes when Pohjanpalo got on the end of Daniel Buballa’s drilled cross. The promotion-hopefuls produced a response befitting of their current standing though, with Vrancic weaving his way through Aalen’s backline before stabbing the ball into the path of Vucinovic to grab the equaliser.
The game was truly turned on its head just past the 20-minute mark when provider turned goalscorer as Vrancic collected Mahir Saglik’s through ball to fire past Daniel Bernhardt. Aside from the visitors’ sporadic counter attacks, it was very much one-way traffic in favour of Paderborn, whose free-flowing combination play was causing Aalen all sorts of problems. Vrancic and Alban Meha both went close to extending the hosts’ lead, but in the end they had to settle for a one-goal cushion at the break.
Paderborn beat the odds
The pattern of proceedings changed little after the restart with Paderborn ensuring they maintained a distinct control over an Aalen side who were struggling to find an answer to their hosts’ pressing game. With Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side struggling to keep things tight, SCP looked the only side likely to score with Marvin Bakalorz dragging an effort wide before the offside flag prevented Saglik from adding to his league-leading goal tally.
With time winding down and the hosts boasting a narrow lead, Aalen began throwing caution to the wind, demonstrating a greater sense of commitment to pushing forward, but failed to find the all-important final pass. Saglik stung the palms of Bernhardt before coming off to a standing ovation from the vociferous home support, who were on their feet for the remainder of the encounter as Paderborn held on to their lead with little-or-no fuss, sending them soaring into Germany’s top flight.
Line-ups and statistics