Bundesliga News

Germany: Play-offs 2/3
3 - 1
(2 - 1)
M. Heider (6), M. Heider (20), E. Amenyido (81)
F. Bilbija (31)

Osnabrück score three at home, but Ingolstadt take promotion playoff

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

One of German football's younger clubs is back in the second division after a single away goal proved the difference Sunday afternoon at the Bremer Brücke. 

VfL Osnabrück defeated FC Ingolstadt 3-1 at home, yet still must play next season in the 3. Bundesliga courtesy of a 3-4 aggregate scoreline.
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Head-coach Markus Feldhoff and midfielder Ulrich Taffertshofer promised that there would be a fight in the second-leg of what Germans refer to as "die kleine Relegationspiel". This promise was kept. Needing at least three home goals against visiting Ingolstadt to avoid being sent down to the 3. Bundesliga, veteran striker Marc Heider ensured that they came as close as possible with two tallies in the opening twenty minutes.

The 35-year-old one-time product of the Osnabrück youth academy ignited a sense of belief among the 2,000 live spectators with strikes in the 6th and 20th. Just after the half-hour-mark, however, Ingolstadt winger Filip Bilbija pulled one back for the guests. The crucial away-goal meant that die Schanzer led 5-2 on aggregate.

Heider came close to a hat trick shortly after the break, unluckily seeing his 48th minute effort deflected off the post. The Westphalian-Saxon hosts ran tirelessly and were not short of ideas. Their Bavarian had plenty of opportunities on the counter, but could not capitalize on the openings accorded them by the VfL's risker forward play.

Towards the end, there was some hope that Osnabrück could force extra time. An Etienne Amenyido laser beam bulged the back of the net in the 81st. The requisite two additional goals would nevertheless not be forthcoming.

Ingolstadt, a newly formed 2004 club that still enjoys some respect among German neutrals for its local, non-corporate roots, returns to the second division for the first time in two years. The "Bavarian Racers" played two years in the top flight between 2015 and 2017.

The White-Lilacs slide back into the third tier after just two seasons in the 2. Bundesliga. Their last stint in Bundesliga three lasted eight years.

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