CLOSE

BERLIN (AP)– Union Berlin gamers were raised high and brought around their stadium after securing promotion to the Bundesliga for the very first time on Monday.

A scoreless draw at home to Stuttgart in the second leg of their playoff sufficed for the Köpenick-based club, which completed third in the second division. Union protected for practically the entire game and progressed to the top flight on away objectives after their 2-2 attract Stuttgart in the very first leg.

Thousands of fans covered the pitch in scenes of unbridled joy at Union’s cozy stadium after the last whistle, lighting flares, hugging, jumping and cheering, with lots of capturing the occasion on their cell phones.

The fans savored their club’s biggest achievement, probably larger than winning the East German Cup in 1968.

Coach Urs Fischer was quickly soaked in a beer shower. Union president Dirk Zingler was unable to keep back the tears.

” I have actually been in this club for 40 years. I’ve awaited this day for so long,” Zingler stated.

Following its finest ever project in the second department, Union is the very first club from East Germany’s Oberliga to play in the Bundesliga given that Energie Cottbus was relegated in 2009.

Union, which traces its starts to 1906 as Olympia Oberschöneweide, weathered financial difficulties and a spell in the 4th tier after German reunification to end up being Berlin’s second-best supported side after Hertha Berlin.

Fans helped it through the difficult times by contributing labor to modernize the stadium in 2008, while they contributed blood four years before to raise cash for the cash-strapped club.

Union prides itself on its resistance to the East German regime, in contrast to hated rival Dynamo Berlin, the club of Stasi chief Erich Mielke. Dynamo won 10 straight East German titles from 1979-88 amidst allegations of match-fixing and politically affected favors, today it suffers in the fourth department.

Thank you! You’re nearly registered for

Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration.

Union is the 56 th team to play in the Bundesliga, and the first second-division team to secure promo through a playoff because Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2012.

” The entire club did everything for this success. It was a great team efficiency, even if we had our problems in the very first half,” Fischer stated. “However I always believed we would manage it.”

Stuttgart, which ended up third from bottom in the Bundesliga, was relegated.

Numerous Union fans welcomed the team bus to the arena with red flares of support prior to the video game. In the arena, a choreography of 2 hands holding a surgically gotten rid of heart urged the gamers to take their hearts in their hands and give their all for “an end to the waiting.”

Stuttgart had other ideas. The visitors thought they ‘d taken an early lead through Dennis Aogo’s free kick, however Nicolas Gonzalez was offside and hindering Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz’s view. Referee Christian Dingert ruled the goal out in the first ever use of video support at Stadion An der Alten Försterei (Arena at the Old Forester’s Home).

Stuttgart’s former Germany striker, Mario Gomez, came on for the second half, which was postponed as Union fans discovered some leftovers from the flares and pyrotechnics that greeted the group on its arrival.

The visitors maintained their assault on the Union goal however Suleiman Abdullahi struck the post twice for the house side, before Gikiewicz had the last say when he saved from Benjamin Pavard. Pavard will play Union once again in the Bundesliga next season – the French protector is signing up with Bayern Munich.

” It’s indescribable,” stated Union managing director Oliver Ruhnert, whose side missed the opportunity to secure automatic promo by one objective. “The group took the most tough path it could.”

___

More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.