Berlin, May 24 (IANS) Eintracht Frankfurt secured their top-flight status in German football after beating Nuremberg 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) thanks to Haris Seferovic’s winner at the second leg of the relegation/promotion play-off in Bundesliga.
Second division side Nuremberg on Monday had a slight advantage due to their away goal in Frankfurt. As a result, a goalless draw would have been enough to ensure promotion while Frankfurt were in need of a win or a higher draw than 1-1 to avoid the fifth relegation in the club’s history, reports Xinhua.
Hence, Frankfurt piled on the pressure from the kick-off to press Nuremberg into defence. The hosts were however able to keep Frankfurt on the distance due to the fact that the “Eagles” lacked in ideas to overcome Nuremberg’s bulwark.
Meanwhile, Nuremberg almost broke the deadlock out of the blue as Sebastian Kerk pulled just wide from promising position in the 12th minute.
As the match progressed, Frankfurt became exasperated with Nuremberg’s well-positioned defence forcing the visitors to long-range efforts. Haris Seferovic’s as well as Szabolcs Huszti’s attempts from the distance kept Nuremberg’s goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer busy. Yet, they had to wait after the break to open the scoring.
After the restart, it were only Frankfurt who set the tone whereas Nuremberg kept all their men in their territory. As a result, Frankfurt’s efforts were finally rewarded at the hour mark as Mijat Gacinovic danced through the box to square pass into the path of Seferovic, who poked home from very close range to beat Schaefer.
Nuremberg were in need of an equaliser to maintain their hopes alive but Niclas Fuellkrueg squandered the last chance for them from inside the box in the dying minutes of the game.
With the result, Frankfurt avoided their fifth relegation into the second division but ensured Nuremberg’s eighth promotion into Germany’s top flight.
“We know Frankfurt’s quality. We therefore tried to defend the goalless draw. We have to accept that Frankfurt were the better in both legs,” Nuremberg sporting director Andreas Bornemann said.
Frankfurt’s coach Niko Kovac said: “Thank God we are still in the first division. I am glad that we made it. It would have been tragic if we did not make it.”