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Germany: 3. Liga
2 - 1
(0 - 0)
Dortmund II
B. Simakala (90), J. Wulff (90)
J. Njinmah (48)

3. Liga's conclusion:
Spectacular late comeback secures promotion for Osnabrück, Elversberg take title

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

In a sensational finish to the 2022/23 3. Bundesliga, four teams remained alive in the promotion race up until the very last minutes of action. Dynamo Dresden, 1. FC Saarbrücken, SV Wehen Wiesbaden, and VfL Osnabrück all clung to their dreams of potentially reaching the second flight right up until the end. 

When the dust settled, a spectacular late comeback from VfL Osnabrück over the Borussia Dortmund reserves ensured that "die Lilien-Weißen" clinched promotion back to the second tier just two years after they were relegated to the 3. Liga via the 2020/21 playoffs. SV Elversberg are league champions while SV Wehen Wiesbaden will contest the playoffs. 
VfL Osnabrück
VfL OsnabrückVfL Osnabrück
Nearly two years to the day after VfL Osnabrück supporters had to endure the humiliation of relegation via the playoffs at home, a dramatic late comeback win at the Bremer Brücke has enabled "die Lilien-Weißen" to fend off three other contenders for an automatic promotion place on the final matchday of the 2022/23 3. Bundesliga campaign. Tobias Schweinsteiger's VfL scored two goals in second-half added time to defeat BVB II 2-1 and leapfrog SV Wehen Wiesbaden, Dynamo Dresden, and 1. FC Saarbrücken to take the 3. Liga's second automatic promotion place.

After a listless first-half during which Schweinsteiger's hosts could consider themselves very lucky that they didn't concede against visiting Dortmund, Bremen loan out Justin Njinmah put Dortmund ahead shortly after the restart. The Lower Saxon hosts couldn't muster up an immediate response and largely remained stuck in first-gear until well after the hour mark. BVB II keeper Marcel Lotka wasn't really tested even after the VfL woke up and put a few efforts wide between the 70th and 80th.

Finally watching up the pressure in the final ten minutes, Osnabrück were again too imprecise with their final passes and efforts. Several chances from promising positions went past the goal. Suddenly, four minutes into the six allotted for second half injury time, VfL striker Ba-Muaka Simakala was able to sink a header-on from substitute Marc Heider for the 1-1 at 90+4. One minute later, Heider's fellow substitute Jannes Wulff won a ball in the penalty area and polished off the 2-1 himself.

Elated fans stormed the pitch immediately after the full-time whistle.

Elsewhere on the final matchday of the 2022/23 3. Bundesliga, the sensational story of Saarland's SV Elversberg concluded with the unlikely success story being crowned league champions. The team from the Neuenkirchen District were only just promoted from the Regionalliga last year and have never competed in the second division before. Elvserberg finish in first after a 2-1 away win at FC Ingolstadt.

SC Freiburg II captured second place in the table with 1 2-0 home win over SV Meppen. Since the Freiburg reserves cannot be promoted to the second division, Osnabrück are the winners of automatic promotion. The playoff place belongs to SV Wehen Wiesbaden. The Hessians will find out their opponents when the 2. Bundesliga concludes tomorrow.

All four of the 2022/23 relegations were confirmed prior to the final matchday. Newcomers VfB Oldenburg and SpVgg Bayreuth lasted just one season in the third flight and are immediately headed back down to the regional conferences. A six-year-span in the third division for Lower Saxony's SV Meppen also came to a close this year despite a big home win against Dynamo Dresden last week. Saxony's FSV Zwickau are also headed back down following a seven-year-stint in the last fully professional division.

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