Fortuna Dusseldorf won promotion
to the Bundesliga on Tuesday after a bad-tempered 2-2 draw with
10-man Hertha Berlin that was interrupted twice, by flares and a
The result secured a 4-3 aggregate play-off win for Fortuna
that sent the club from the capital down to the second division.
Fortuna, who won the first leg 2-1 in Berlin last week,
returned to the top flight after 15 years.
It was the second relegation in three seasons for Hertha,
who had Anis Ben-Hatira sent off early in the second half,
leaving Berlin again as the only major European capital without
a top-division soccer team.
The result also spells the end of a disappointing return to
the Bundesliga for 73-year-old veteran coach Otto Rehhagel, who
took over in February with the mission to rescue Hertha.
"We are all bitterly disappointed," said Hertha midfielder
Christian Lell. "It is difficult to find words right now."
The hosts got off to a perfect start, stunning Hertha with a
first-minute goal from Maximilian Beister's 20-metre strike.
Hertha levelled with a header by Ben-Hatira from a Ronny
free kick and missed several chances before the break.
They were reduced to 10 men when Ben-Hatira was dismissed in
the 54th minute for a second booking and Ranisav Jovanovic
headed in off the post for Fortuna's second goal just before the
The goal sparked a shower of lit flares on to the pitch from
both sets of fans and referee Wolfgang Stark stopped play for
Needing two goals, Hertha ventured forward and grabbed an
equaliser five minutes from time when Raffael unleashed a
thunderous shot from just inside the box.
The game was interrupted again for 20 minutes in stoppage
time after Fortuna fans poured on to the pitch thinking it was
"There was an escalation," German Football League (DFL)
refereeing chief Hellmut Krug told reporters. "We can be happy
that it did not turn into something more serious."
Eintracht Frankfurt and Greuther Fuerth have already won
automatic promotion to the Bundesliga while Kaiserslautern and
Cologne were relegated from the Bundesliga.
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
They're really rather good
Trio of triumphs
Happy days in Tehran
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010