Stuttgart move to brink of Bundesliga promotion
Berlin: Stuttgart moved to the brink of an immediate promotion back to the Bundesliga on Sunday thanks to their 6-0 thrashing of Nuremberg coupled with Hamburg's dramatic late defeat at Heidenheim.
Five-time German champions Stuttgart went into the penultimate day of the season one point clear of Hamburg and with an inferior goal difference, only to all but secure a return to the top flight with a thumping victory.
Hamburg's promotion push was severely dented as they collapsed to defeat at Heidenheim despite leading with 11 minutes to play.
Substitute Konstantin Kerschbaumer scored a 95th-minute winner to clinch a 2-1 success which saw Heidenheim leapfrog Hamburg into third in Bundesliga 2, which carries a play-off against the 16th-placed side from the top division -- currently Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Stuttgart, in the second automatic promotion slot, lead Heidenheim by three points with a goal difference 11 better, with Hamburg one point further back.
Heidenheim visit Arminia Bielefeld, who have already been crowned second-tier champions and promoted, in their final match of the campaign next Sunday, while Stuttgart host Darmstadt and Hamburg take on Sandhausen. - AFP