Target reached: Alexander Meier (r.) helped Frankfurt come back from 2-0 down to Wolfsburg and ensure European qualification
Target reached: Alexander Meier (r.) helped Frankfurt come back from 2-0 down to Wolfsburg and ensure European qualification

Frankfurt seal Europe but Fortuna go down

Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt got the point they needed for a place in the UEFA Europa League next season on the final day of the campaign, while FC Augsburg also celebrated success by securing survival after beating Greuther Fürth.

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 VfL Wolfsburg

Elsewhere, 1. FC Nuremberg edged a five-goal thriller with SV Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart shared four goals with FSV Mainz 05. rounds up the action on a breath-taking final day in the 2012/13 Bundesliga season...

Eintracht Frankfurt realised their dream of qualification for the UEFA Europa league only a year after promotion to Germany's topflight, despite being held to a 2-2 draw by VfL Wolfsburg.

A first-half penalty from Alexander Meier and an own-goal by Ricardo Rodriguez restored parity for Armin Veh's men against a ten-men Wolfsburg who had looked on their way following goals from Jan Polak and Diego.

Last-gasp reward

Frankfurt's hopes of playing European football for the first time in seven years suffered an early setback when Polak left Oka Nikolov in goal no chance with a well-placed header eight minutes into the game for the Czech's first goal in two years, and things went from bad to worse eleven minutes later when Diego found the net for the confident looking visitors.

Makoto Hasebe's red card after 35 minutes, however, then appeared the be the turning point as he brought down his Japanese compatriot Takashi Inui in the box, Meier converting the penalty for his 16th goal this season. Frankfurt threw bodies forward in search for the equaliser, and Eintracht eventually earned the point the longed in the 90th minute when Wolfsburg defender Rodriguez steered the ball into the guests' goal.

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FC Augsburg 3-1 Greuther Fürth

FC Augsburg saved their best for last, moving out of the bottom three of the Bundesliga for the first time since Matchday 3 thanks to a 3-1 win over Greuther Furth on the final day.

The fans played their part in spurring Augsburg on, but they were soon silenced when the referee pointed to the penalty spot after Felix Klaus was fouled by Ragnar Klavan inside the penalty area. It was Fürth’s third spot kick in as many games, and Edgar Prib was the third Clover Leaf to try his luck. He found the top right-hand corner, but the referee ordered it to be retaken with players encroaching into the area. Prib stepped up again, but this time Alexander Manninger guessed right and denied him.

Drama and emotions

The fans swung from one emotion to the other, and the positive energy increased with news filtering through that Hoffenheim were behind at Dortmund. The SGL-Arena then exploded when Tobias Werner put the hosts ahead on the half-hour mark with a direct free-kick.

The game looked over when Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker headed the hosts two up, but a spirited reaction from Furth led to them pulling a goal back through Florian Trinks, spreading panic among the home ranks. Dong-Won Ji put an end to Augsburg’s fears, though, with a goal which took them up to 15th, securing Bundesliga football again next season.

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Hannover 96 3-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Fortuna Düsseldorf were condemned to relegation to Bundesliga 2 off the back of a 12th straight game without a win, this time going down to a 3-0 defeat at Hannover 96.

Hannover had nothing but pride to play for, but that seemed to be enough to inspire them against a nervous-looking Düsseldorf. Mame Diouf put them in front ten minutes before half time when he got a touch to Steven Cherundolo’s low cross and beat Fabian Giefer with a low shot.

Results condemning Fortuna

With Augsburg leading against Greuther Fürth, Fortuna knew they had to respond in the second half to at least match the Bavarians’ result. Yet there was little sign of Norbert Meier’s men obliging, though, as Hannover found their ruthless streak. Didier Ya Konan put the Reds two ahead on the hour mark with Diouf this time turning provider for the Ivory Coast striker, whose cool finish froze Fortuna.

The guests had to gamble, but this just made them even more susceptible with Ya Konan grabbing his second and Hannover’s third in the 76th minute from Lars Stindl’s pass. Fortuna were therefore reliant on results elsewhere, and the news was not good - Hoffenheim had turned the tables on Borussia Dortmund to condemn Düsseldorf to an immediate return to the second tier.

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VfB Stuttgart 2-2 1. FSV Mainz 05

Despite little at stake in between for either side in the season finale, Stuttgart and Mainz played out an entertaining 2-2 on Matchday 34.

VfB seemed on their way after overturning Chinedu Ede's early goal courtesy to Christian Wetklo's own goal and a strike from Arthur Boka, but Nicolai Müller levelled matters just before the break for the visitors, as both sides finish the season in mid-table.

Action-packed first half

Mainz's early efforts came to an avail in the 16 minute when Ede broke the deadlock in his first-ever start for Thomas Tuchel's side, but Stuttgart reacted well to that setback, Wetklo in goal unable to clear Martin Harnik's cross (22') and Boka finishing a nice one-two with Vedad Ibisevic for the DFB Cup finalists. That lead wasn't to last long either, however, Müller making it all square just before the break.

Stuttgart were largely in charge in the second half, creating a number of half-chances, their best scoring opportunity coming from Radoslav Zabavnik, however, who was fortunate that his stray touch struck his own post.

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1. FC Nuremberg 3-2 Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen’s weary season ended with a defeat as they were beaten 3-2 at 1. FC Nuremberg in the Grundig Stadion.

The first half was a rather quiet affair as neither side managed to create many noteworthy chances. Bremen seemed to be playing with a weight off their shoulders in their first game since the departure of previous head coach Thomas Schaaf, however, and they went in at the break in front when de Bruyne coolly chipped the keeper for the opening goal.

As Per usual

Nuremberg used the half-time break to regroup and they emerged from the dressing room determined to restore parity to affairs. After a spell of possession in the Bremen half, they duly got themselves back on level terms when defender Per Nilsson lashed in from a corner for his sixth goal of the season and the team’s 20th from set pieces.

In a dramatic finale, Sebastian Polter and Tomas Pekhart struck in quick succession to give der Club a two-goal cushion, before de Bruyne added a late consolation, his 10th goal of the season, for the northerners. Nuremberg finish the season in 10th place with Bremen in 14th, their lowest finish in the Bundesliga since 1980.

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