Bundesliga News

Germany: 3. Liga
1 - 1
(0 - 1)
R. Berlinski (49)
M. Stoppelkamp (33)

3. Liga's conclusion:
SC Verl stay above Viktoria Berlin, avoid relegation on final matchday

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

The Renaissance of East Westphalian club SC Verl (onetime home of German international Arne Friedrich and trainer Roger Schmidt) lives on following a 1-1 draw at home against Duisburg on the season's final matchday. 

Verl hung on to secure a third consecutive season of 3. Bundesliga football after finishing the campaign on a four-game unbeaten run.

FC Viktoria Berlin ended up in the 3. Liga's fourth relegation slot, dropping back down to the Regionalliga level after just one season in the third division. 
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Over at Paderborn's Benteler-Arena, fans of the club from the nearby village of Verl were able too breathe a sigh of relief after their team avoided relegation back to the fourth tier of German football on the 3. Bundesliga's final matchchday. The small-town club remembered by most as DFB Pokal giant-slayers after victories against Bundesligsts Borussia Mönchengladbach (1999) and Augsburg (2019) will play in the country's third footballing tier for the third consecutive season.

The SCV had hoped to conclude the season on a run of four straight victories. A 1-1 draw at home against table neighbors MSV Duisburg nevertheless proved sufficient after FC Viktoria 1899 Berlin failed to pull off a sensational comeback against SV Meppen. A high-tempo affair between Verl and Duisburg still didn't produce a goal until Moritz Stoppelkamp opened the scoring for the MSV in the 33rd. After what was surely a nervy halftime break, Rob Berlinski sent in the equalizer five minutes after the restart.

Meanwhile, over at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark in Berlin, the capital city's Steglitzer side fell behind 0-2 to visiting SV Meppen in the 53rd minute. Matters were looking very bright for Verl as they stood three points above Viktoria Berlin in the live table. A draw would do the 17th placed Berliners no good. Verl would have to lose whilst Rico Schmitt's men scored three goals. As it happened, Viktoria did end up scoring three goals in the final 25 minutes. It still proved no good as Meppen added two more to win 4-3.

The Verler pushed to win their own match, but in the end a 1-1 draw proved sufficient.

Elsewhere in 3. Liga on the final matchday, most all of the other important table positions had already been decided. League Champions 1. FC Magdeburg crowned their magnificent season with a thumping 5-1 away win over VfL Onsnabrück over a the Bremer Brücke. Eintracht Braunschweig--also headed back up to the second tier via the second automatic promotion place--finished off the campaign with a meaningless 0-1 loss at home to FC Victoria Köln.

The East German Magdeburg Blue-Whites rise as high as they ever have since reunification. The Lower Saxon Lions of Braunschweig (last seen in the Bundesliga for a one-season stint in the 2013/14 season) have achieved a quick course correction after being relegated from the second division just last season.

Entering the season's final round, it was already known that 1. FC Kaiserslautern would occupy the playoff place and square off against 2. Liga side Dynamo Dresden beginning on May 20th. TSV Havelse were also relegated earlier in their first year back in the third division while the Würzberger Kickers also drop down one year after entering the third tier from above. Türkgücü München withdrew from the league earlier in the year.

Erzgebirge Aue and FC Ingolstadt 04 will be joining the 3. Bundesliga field next year after finishing in the two 2. Bundesliga automatic relegation places.

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