Ilir Azemi and Zoltan Stieber grabbed the goals in the second half, but second-placed SC Paderborn 07's 2-1 win over VfR Aalen leaves the Clover Leaves' domestic status hanging in the balance.
Eyes on Paderborn
Fürth had to win to have any chance of usurping Paderborn and earning automatic promotion to the top tier. Frank Kramer's men started brightly enough, but as news filtered through of Aalen taking the lead in Paderborn, Azemi was unable to deliver the goal that would, temporarily at least, have put his side in the driving seat after arriving a fraction late on Stieber's devilish left-wing cross.
For their part, Sandhausen, other than the prospect of securing a top-half finish, had nothing overly rewarding to play for. Alois Schwartz's ninth-placed charges nevertheless made life difficult for the hosts, packing the midfield and by in large sticking ten men behind the ball. Fürth's feathers were clearly ruffled and that was before they'd been told Paderborn were now leading Aalen 2-1 further north at the Benteler Arena.
Azemi on cue
Duly whipped into shape at the break, Fürth emerged for the second half with far greater purpose and soon grabbed the all-important opening goal. Sandhausen backed off, allowing Stieber to float a measured cross onto the head of Azemi, who powered home his 14th goal of the season with aplomb.
The Kosovan forward chanced his arm from range as Furth went in search of a two-goal cushion, before Stieber came up trumps with a virtual carbon copy of the hosts' opener eight minutes from time. In the end, though, it was all academic, with Paderborn's narrow win ensuring Kramer's men will have to go about promotion to the Bundesliga the hard way in next week's two-legged play-off against the Bundesliga's only-ever present club.
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