RedBull Leipzig (err, “Rasenballsport”) have achioved their goal of moving up, but it was more difficult than anticipated. RB had a 2-0 win in the first leg against West champion Sportfreunde Lotte, but threw it away. Lotte managed to score in th first half and continued to attack the Leipzig net. Miraculously, they were finally rewarded 4 minutes into injury time to spqaure the series. But then they were apparently out of gas, as Leipzig then struck twice in overtime to win the series 4-2.
Leipzig will be joined by Hostein Kiel, who won 2-1 at Hessen Kassel. The north champions had won the first leg at home 2-0, so they coast into the 3.Liga. I suppose a bright spot is that Kassel will have some interesting matches with Darmstadt in next season’s tough Regionalliga SW.
The final promotion spot is still up for grabs. SV Elversberg holds a 3-2 1st leg advantage over 1860 München II, but the rematch could not be played. Heavy rains in München meant that the Allainz Arena field was in poor condition, so the match had to be canceled.
Finally, more 3.Liga news. Kickers Offenbach might be forcibly relegated. Offenbach had already received a 2 point penalty for financial shenanigans, but they seemingly got their act together and did well enough on the field to stay up – and certainly teh excellent Cup run helped with the finances. However in a somewhat of a surprise ruling, the DFB finance board ruled that Kickers have not met the requirements for a 3.Liga license – hence they are forced to drop down. Of course, this is not the final decision, as Offenbach will undoubtedly appeal to the standing sports court, and there’s a good chance it will be overturned. Based on reports, Offenbach was denied more on “technical form” issues rather than lack of funds, whatever that means.
I would think that if Kickers are in fact forcibly relegated, then Darmstadt would be offered the chance to stay up. The Lilies and Kickers are rivals, I’m not sure the fans would want to stay up in this manner – but on the other hand, I don’t think they’d turn it down either.