We've done it! 1. FC Union Berlin secured their place in the Bundesliga for another season with a 1-0 win over Paderborn at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
Ben Zolinski's own goal after 37 minutes decided the three points, which puts Union into an unassailable 10-point lead above the relegation positions.
Paderborn – coached by former Union striker Steffen Baumgart – were officially relegated on the night and will head back to the 2.Bundesliga.
1. FC Union Berlin: Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Schlotterbeck, Friedrich, Reichel; Gentner (Kroos 77), Andrich (Schmiedebach 87), Prömel; Andersson (Ujah 87), Ingvartsen, Bülter (Mees 61)
SC Paderborn: Zingerle; Collins, Strohdiek (Dräger 14), Hünemeier, Holtmann (Pröger 76); Gjasula, Vasiliadis, Antwi-Adjej, Ritter; Mamba (Jastrzembski 67), Zolinski (Evans 76)
Robert Andrich for Yunus Malli was the only change to Urs Fischer's starting XI from Sunday's much-needed away win at 1. FC Köln. Given Union's last five league games at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei have ended without a win, Fischer's team needed to make an impact early on. From the start, the Köpenick club were sharp, purposeful and carried a cutting-edge in the last third. Paderborn goalkeeper Leo Zingerle did enough to keep the bottom-placed side in contention despite Union's early dominance. After two minutes, Sebastian Andersson shot straight at the keeper and Grischa Prömel added another shot on target in the eighth minute. On 13 minutes, Union's best chance arrived when Ken Reichel ran beyond Andersson to cause the away defence issues. Reichel's first shot was parried straight back at him from Zingerle, but the Berlin-born full-back failed at the second attempt. Eventually, Zingerle was helpless to keep Steffen Baumgart's side on level terms – Trimmel's set-piece from deep invited a delicate touch from Zolinski and the ball landed into the bottom corner with eight minutes left until the turnaround.
Baumgart's Paderborn have stayed true to their all-action, high-tempo style of football, which successfully secured promotion to the Bundesliga last season. After setting up the goal at one end, Trimmel showed his defensive experience, cutting out a dangerous situation in the 58th minute. Marlon Ritter's pass split the Union central defenders and let Zolinski through on goal, but the Austrian skipper timed his intervention to perfection. Fischer's team did more without the ball than in possession until around the hour mark when Union regained a foothold. A passing move set up Andrich from 12 yards out but the midfielder struck against the inside of the post after 72 minutes. Zingerle couldn't gather the loose ball but Andersson managed only to hit the side-netting. The visitors flooded the home box without forcing Gikiewicz into any important saves. Union should have added shine to the achievement but Marcus Ingvartsen missed in the fourth minute stoppage time. In the end, the Köpenick club completed the job – Union will compete in the Bundesliga next season!