Hamburg fans stormed pitch early thinking promotion was sealed – only for Heidenheim to score two stoppage-time goals to win 2.Bundesliga & knock them into third

Hamburg prematurely celebrate promotion before it's taken awayGetty
  • Hamburg win 2-1 on final day
  • Fans think automatic promotion is sealed, storm pitch
  • Astonishing Heidenheim comeback in added time

WHAT HAPPENED? Hamburg thought they'd done enough to finish in the top two and earn promotion to the Bundesliga, with supporters invading the pitch after their side beat Sandhausen 1-0, believing that was enough to go up automatically on the final day.

But what they didn't bargain for was Heidenheim scoring two late goals to turn around their game against Regensburg. They were trailing 2-1 at the end of 90 minutes but a 93rd minute penalty from Jan-Niklas Beste, followed by Tim Kleindienst's winner, sparked joy for Heidenheim and despair for Hamburg – especially for those fans already on the pitch.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Hamburg, who have spent four seasons in 2. Bundesliga after having never previously been relegated in their history, must now contest the relegation play-offs, having dropped to third with Darmstadt taking the second automatic spot. They'll take on VfB Stuttgart over two legs, with the winner getting a place in the top flight for 2023/24.

WHAT NEXT FOR HAMBURG? The first leg of their play-off will be played at Stuttgart on June 1. The return leg at Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion is set for June 5.