Fortuna Duesseldorf relegated after final day defeat
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BERLIN – Fortuna Duesseldorf were relegated from the Bundesliga on Saturday after losing their last match of the regular season 3-0 away at in-form Union Berlin.
Duesseldorf knew victory would guarantee avoiding automatic relegation and put them into a playoff against the third team in the second-tier.
But goals from Union's Anthony Ujah, Christian Gentner and Suleiman Abdullahi sent them to defeat, allowing Werder Bremen to move above them and seal a playoff spot after romping to a 6-1 win over Cologne.
Duesseldorf ended up with 30 points and will join already-relegated SC Paderborn. Werder Bremen ended on 31 points.
Werder Bremen extended their 39-year stay in the Bundesliga for at least another 10 days when they thumped Cologne 6-1 to avoid automatic relegation.
The four-times Bundesliga champions climbed out of the drop zone and leapfrogged Fortuna Duesseldorf to finish 16th in the 18-team table. They now face a playoff against the team that finishes third in the second division. Fortuna lost 3-0 at Union and were relegated.
Werder began the day as favourites to go down as they were two points behind Fortuna with a worse goal difference but raced to a 3-0 lead as Yuya Osako, Milot Rashica and Niclas Fuellkrug scored in a six-minute spell in the first half.
Davy Klaassen added a fourth after halftime, Osako made it 5-0, Dominick Drexler pulled one back and Joshua Sargent scored a sixth to leave Werder with 31 points, one more than Fortuna.
The two-leg playoff is due to take place on July 2 and 6.