MSV Duisburg (1) 1-2 (4) Würzburger Kickers: Würzburg win seals second successive promotion
Image credit: kicker - Imago

Goals from Elia Soriano and Rico Benatelli have ended an almost 40-year wait for a return to the 2. Bundesliga for Würzburger Kickers.

Clemens Schoppenhauer's own-goal had given MSV Duisburg the lead, only for Soriano to reply immediately afterwards.

A tense second half followed and Victor Obinna, quite literally, saw red late on before Benatelli's superb finish sealed a 1-2 win on the night and a 1-4 aggregate triumph.

Both teams made changes from the first leg, with Ilia Gruev bringing in Tim Albutat, Rolf Feltscher and Victor Obinna for Branimir Bajic (suspended), Steffen Bohl and Stanislav Iljucenko (both bench). Bernd Hollerbach, on the other hand, opted for just one alteration; Marco Haller took Nejmeddin Daghfous' spot (not in the squad).

Level at the break

It was a slow start to proceedings in Westfalen, as neither side came forward with any real verve or purpose. There were audible whistles and jeers when the visitors got on the ball, as Wurzburg were more than happy to build pressure slowly and frustrate the hosts.

However, it was Duisburg who should have take the lead in the game. Giorgi Chanturia moved inside before picking out an unmarked Kinsgley Onuegbu in the centre, but the Nigerian forward was closed down brilliantly by Richard Weil and the ball bobbled off both before going behind.

That seemed to push the Zebras on but, even then, it was a struggle to get anything meaningful going in an attacking sense.

It was becoming increasingly clear that a moment of magic or a mistake was needed to break the deadlock. When Schoppenhauer rose to head away Chanturia's cross, he only succeeded in deflecting it past his own goalkeeper. Duisburg had the breakthrough and a route back into the game.

That joy would be short-lived, though. Würzburg, completely undeterred by going a goal down, responded within four minutes. They spread the play across the field before Weil threaded the ball into Soriano. He spun his defender and worked space to shoot before finding Marcel Lenz's bottom corner, restoring parity in the process.

It was a frustrating night for the Zebras. | Image source: imago
It was a frustrating night for the Zebras. | Image source: imago

Sluggish second half sees Duisburg downed

The start of the second half was fast, furious and frantic but provided neither side with anything other than knocks, bumps and bruises. Chanturia had to be taken off with injury, which brought groans from the home support and forced Nico Klotz into action.

Obinna was doing his best to force a way to goal but an increasingly frustrated home crowd grew restless when they felt he was fouled in the area twice by the visiting defence. If anything, it was the Nigerian was had gone to ground easily in an attempt to win a spot-kick.

Robert Wulnikowski was rarely test in the second period, though he was forced into a superb reflex save towards the very end. The ebras pushed and pushed but, ultimately, there was a severe lacking of quality and cutting edge; had Chanturia stayed on, it may have been different.

Things got ugly towards the end as Obinna was sent off for showing a complete lack of respect to Tobias Stieler. Duisburg's one season stay in the second tier never really took off, but Würzburg took full advantage and a lovely passing move saw Benatelli score a superb goal to give them the win and secure back-to-back promotions.