Football

Union Berlin 2-1 Freiburg: Die Eisernen Survive Bundesliga Relegation After Late Winner

Just three points clear of 17th-place Koln, who travelled to Heidenheim, Union Berlin welcomed Freiburg to Stadion An der Alten Forsterei, knowing a defeat could spell the end of their five-year stay in the German top-flight

Union Berlin celebrate securing their survival.
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Union Berlin scored a stoppage-time winner against Freiburg to secure their Bundesliga safety, despite missing two penalties on a dramatic final day. (More Football News)

Marco Grote's side, who participated in the Champions League during the first half of this season under former coach Urs Fischer, occupied the relegation play-off spot heading into the final day of the campaign.

Just three points clear of 17th-place Koln, who travelled to Heidenheim, they welcomed Freiburg to Stadion An der Alten Forsterei, knowing a defeat could spell the end of their five-year stay in the German top flight.

Mainz, two points clear of Union in 15th, moved themselves out of the relegation picture with a commanding 3-1 win at Wolfsburg.

That meant one of Union, Bochum or Koln would join already relegated Darmstadt in the second tier. One would have to settle for a play-off place, while the other would survive.

Koln went down 4-1 at Heidenheim, while Bochum's defeat at Werder Bremen by the same scoreline meant Union could leapfrog them with victory over Freiburg.

The hosts, for whom Josip Juranovic missed a first-half penalty, broke the deadlock in the 68th minute through Benedict Hollerbach.

However, they looked set for a relegation play-off when Ritsu Doan equalised for the visitors with five minutes remaining, before substitute Kevin Volland struck the post with his spot-kick early in stoppage time.

Nevertheless, there was to be a dramatic late twist as Janik Haberer struck in the 92nd minute to catapult Union out of the bottom three and to safety in 15th place.

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