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BC-SOC--Germany-Playoffs

May 27, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Union Berlin has secured promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time with a scoreless draw at home to Stuttgart in the second leg of their playoff.

The Kopenick-based club, which finished third in the second division, defended for almost the whole game on Monday, and progresses to the top flight on away goals after their 2-2 draw in Stuttgart in the first leg.

Thousands of fans covered the pitch in scenes of unbridled joy at Stadion An der Alten Forsterei (Stadium at the Old Forester’s House) after the final whistle, lighting flares, hugging, jumping and cheering, with many capturing the occasion on their smart phones.

Following its best ever campaign in the second division, Union is the first club from East Germany’s Oberliga to play in the Bundesliga since Energie Cottbus was relegated in 2009.

Union, which traces its beginnings back to 1906 as Olympia Oberschoneweide, weathered financial difficulties after German reunification to become Berlin’s second-best supported side after Hertha Berlin.

Stuttgart, which finished third from bottom in the Bundesliga, was relegated.

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More AP German soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Ciaran Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

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