Nuremberg's players celebrate after scoring their first goal of the day, Christian Eigler found the net after 29 minutes.

Back in the game

German soccer club Nuremberg are on their way back to the top flight after a one-year absence. They demolished Cottbus 5-0 over two legs, emphatically securing a place in the Bundesliga once again.

Nuremberg had climbed most of the mountain back to the Bundesliga on Thursday in the first leg, beating Cottbus 3-0 away from home. For Sunday's return fixture, all the club had to do was avoid a disaster at home.

Cottbus started strongly, and had a few great chances to score early on, but any hope of clawing back into the tie evaporated just before the half-hour mark.

Christian Eigler netted Nuremberg's first goal on 29 minutes, and Marek Mintal added another eight minutes later, leaving the second-division club five goals to the good against its top-flight opposition.

"There was a lot of pressure, but after the two goals it was all over," Eigler said after the match. "Now, it's time to get the city rocking!"

Relegation play-off

Nuremberg's Christian Eigler,reacts after is goal during the second leg relegation soccer match of German first division Bundesliga between 1. FC Nuremberg and Energie Cottbus in the stadium in Nuremberg, southern Germany.
Christian Eigler opened the scoring, and dashed Karlsruhe's hopesImage: AP

Nuremberg qualified for the playoff fixture by finishing third in the second division, whilst Cottbus - third from bottom in the Bundesliga - had to defend its right to stay in the top division, and couldn't.

This was the first time since 1991 that a relegation playoff match, once a regular feature of German soccer, had been used to decide who would play where in the following season.

Nuremberg will join SC Freiburg and Mainz - both of whom won automatic promotion - in the Bundesliga, as Cottbus slide down to the second division along with Bielefeld and Karlsruhe.

With Cottbus gone, there are now no teams from former East Germany in the top flight of German soccer. Cottbus' first task in its bid to return to first division next season will be to find a new coach. 56 year-old Slovenian Bojan Prasnikar quit after the 3-0 first leg defeat at the hands of Nuremberg.


Editor: Toma Tasovac