A Simon Terodde brace and goals from Daniel Ginczek and Matthias Zimmermann helped VfB Stuttgart to the 2. Bundesliga title on Sunday afternoon. Tobias Schröck's consolation goal was all Würzburger Kickers could take from a 4-1 defeat, as they slipped back to 3. Liga.
Following their 1-0 defeat at Hannover 96 which prolonged their wait for promotion, Hannes Wolf opted to make two changes in a bid to secure the title. Daniel Ginczek and Matthias Zimmermann both came into the side, replacing both Florian Klein and Ebenezer Ofori.
As for Bernd Hollerbach and his Kickers, they knew only a win would save their 2. Bundesliga status; even that would require favourable results elsewhere. Nevertheless, he made three changes to the side that lost to Sandhausen. Lukas Fröde, Patrick Weihrauch, Elia Soriano came in for Rico Benatelli, Sebastian Ernst, Joannis Karsanidis.
Zimmermann stunner opens the scoring
The game began slowly, but with Stuttgart on the front. Given their strong start, it was a surprise to see the visitors have the first chance of the match. Peter Kurzweg picked up Nejmeddin Daghfous' pass before firing low at goal. Mitchell Langerak pushed that away with his foot, before getting up immediately to sprawl across goal to deny Daghfous.
Stuttgart's main attacking threat came from Alexandru Maxim, who tried to play in Terodde when but instead had a much easier route to goal himself. Maxim then did successfully feed the league's top goalscorer, yet his touch eluded him ever so slightly and Jörg Siebenhandl was out like a shot to claim at the striker's feet.
As the game wore on it became more and more open until a major chance fell the way of the hosts. A quick break saw Terodde stride forward along with Ginczek but his cutback was extremely poor. The latter rescued the play and teed up Zimmermann to send the ball straight into the top corner from 25 yards, giving the hosts a half-time lead.
Terodde and Ginczek get to work
The second half began as the first ended, with Stuttgart in control. Simon Terodde had three excellent chances to extend the scoring, but passed up all three. It was uncharacteristic, but it didn't take long for him to make amends as another counter from Timo Baumgartl's tackle. Ginczek this time squared for Terodde to calmly tap in.
Siebenhandl was worked on a regular basis from then on, yet things calmed down after that period of dominance with the game essentially sown up. However, that allowed the visitors a chance to get back into the game and one which they took. Schröck managed to get his outstretched boot on Benatelli's drive, and there was suddenly hope.
Yet just two minutes later, the game was killed off. It saw more unselfish play from Ginczek set up Terodde, in what was a perfect performance. There was even time for the man who had set up the first three goals to get on the scoresheet himself. He did it in style, flicking the ball up and crashing a 20-yard volley in off the crossbar.
The final whistle went and the Stuttgart fans poured onto the pitch having been crowned champions. As for the Kickers, it's back to the drawing board and 3. Liga next season.