Vieirinha's 49th minute strike proved to be the killer blow in Eintracht Braunschweig's bid for promotion on Monday evening. A second one-nil win for VfL Wolfsburg ensured that they would be playing a 21st consecutive Bundesliga season next term.
Both teams made changes from the first leg, where Braunschweig were hoping to overturn a 1-0 loss. Torsten Lieberknecht brought in Patrick Schönfeld and Salim Khelifi for Quirin Moll and Onel Hernandez. On the other hand, Vieirinha was handed a starting berth in place of Paul-Georges Ntep by Andries Jonker.
Braunschweig on top
The game picked up where it left off in the first leg, with Wolfsburg in control. Maximilian Sauer picked up an early yellow card in what was a physical first 10 minutes. Aside from the several fouls given away, Daniel Didavi had the first attempt of the game as his swerving shot from 20 yards was well-held by Jasmin Fejzic.
Braunschweig battled back after that and pushed for an opener, and the goal they needed to level the tie. Khelifi and Sauer both combined for the latter to feed Christoffer Nyman in the area, though Koen Casteels denied his effort from 12 yards with his boot. Philipp Wollscheid then nearly headed past the Belgian in a moment of confusion.
A period of midfield battling was broken by Vieirinha's delicate ball through to Yannick Gerhardt, only to see Fejzic parry his stinging half-volley. At the other end, Ken Reichel continued to cause trouble and after cutting in on his right foot, slid in a low cross. Gustav Valsvik attempted to turn the ball home, but couldn't make a clean contact.
The final moments of the first half brought plenty of entertainment, as Mario Gomez had a goal disallowed for a foul on Sauer in the build-up. At the other end, a clever through pass allowed Reichel in on goal but he blazed over in what was their best opening. Neither side had managed to break the deadlock at half-time, somehow.
Vieirinha goal kills tie
As fireworks injured a steward at half-time, and it was later made clear that after treatment they were okay, Wolfsburg started with a bang. After finally finding a way through the desperate EBS defenders, Yunus Malli was denied by Fejzic once again. Then came Vieirinha, who steamed in from the edge of the box and sent a rocket into the top corner.
That was a set-back that Braunschweig never fully recovered from, and the task of scoring three goals in 40 minutes was always going to be a tough ask. Reichel and Nyman both had opportunities to find the net, but neither could hit the target. The latter stages saw Sauer pick up a second yellow and that signalled the end of their charge.
After that, a miss from Malli while one-on-one with Fejzic saw the final action of the match come and go. The final whistle went, and Wolfsburg were able to celebrate safety. Sadly, as there had been earlier in the half, there were unsavoury scenes at the end of the game. Some home fans invaded the pitch, which eventually cleared.