Eintracht Frankfurt ensured a fifth consecutive Bundesliga season after edging 1. FC Nürnberg in the promotion/relegation play-off. Haris Seferovic's second-half goal made it 1-0 for Niko Kovac's men on the night and 2-1 on aggregate.
1. FC Nürnberg 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 0-1 Seferovic (66')
Eintracht made a far brighter start than they had in Thursday's first-leg 1-1 draw, dominating possession and pulling Der Club around their Grundig Stadion. An early foray forward cost Die Adler an early substitution, though, with Marc Stendera going down on the edge of the box and being replaced by Marco Fabian. The Mexican made a quick impact, sending a free-kick into the box that Seferovic headed high. The Switzerland striker found space from a Szabolcs Huszti corner soon after, but again his header missed the target. Fabian then stung Raphael Schäfer's gloves with a shot before the offside flag went up. Schäfer pushed a Huszti thunderbolt away with half-time approaching and the sides went in scoreless at the interval.
Seferovic flashed a wicked volley toward the Nürnburg goal soon after the restart, but it deflected off the home defence, who then saw their attempted counter-attack fizzle out. Kovac threw top scorer Alex Meier into the mix for the final half-hour, and his presence in the home box helped Eintracht spend the rest of the game camped out in the opposition half. The visitors took full advantage when Mijat Gacinovic - who scored the equaliser on Thursday - cut the ball back for Seferovic, who turned the ball past Schäfer from metres out. Fabian had a late penalty claim waved away by referee Christian Dingert and it ended 1-0.
Man of the match
Without the Serbian winger Gacinovic Eintracht would be down. The 21-year-old covered the most ground for Frankfurt (11.83 km), and having scored a crucial goal last week, provided an equally important assist that would have been nigh-on impossible for Seferovic to miss.
Eintracht have looked significantly more disciplined since Kovac took the helm, but with 12-goal top scorer Meier increasingly injured and already four months past his 33rd birthday, it's clear Die Adler need to strengthen in the summer if they are to avoid a similar scare next season.
- Seferovic's goal was only his fourth of the season. The Switzerland striker scored ten last term.It was the first time in 246 minutes that Schäfer had conceded a home goal in a play-off (after clean sheets in 2009 and 2010).Frankfurt completed 466 passes to Nürnberg's 150.Frankfurt have won their last three matches at Nürnberg's Grundig Stadion.It was only Nürnberg's second defeat in 18 home games this season.The top-flight team has now won the promotion/relegation play-off in six of the last seven years.