Wolfsburg clinched Bundesliga survival by beating Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0, giving the side a 2-0 victory on aggregate in their relegation-promotion playoff on Monday.
Vieirinha’s powerful strike after the break gave the visiting side a comfortable cushion, after Mario Gomez gave Wolfsburg a 1-0 win at home in the first leg.
“We achieved the absolute minimum. I can understand the players’ relief, but it’s not a success,” said Andries Jonker, Wolfsburg’s third coach of the season.
The Volkswagen-backed club was forced into the playoff after finishing third from bottom in the Bundesliga. It was the side’s lowest position since gaining promotion to the top flight in 1997.
Braunschweig, which was third in Germany’s second division, was bidding to return to the Bundesliga after its relegation in 2014.
“The Lions” lived up to coach Torsten Lieberknecht’s words after defeat in the first leg, “Lions bite. We’ll really bite back.” But the closest the side came to scoring was when Christoffer Nyman shot straight at Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels early on.
Their hopes were all but ended when Vieirinha hammered Wolfsburg ahead after the break from a rebound. Braunschweig suddenly needed three goals due to Wolfsburg’s away score.
The home side never looked like getting them.
Braunschweig fans stormed the pitch after the game forcing players to take cover. Riot police formed a line to protect visiting supporters, leading to an uneasy faceoff as flares were lit and hurled toward the officials.
“We had to go the changing rooms. We couldn’t celebrate,” Wolfsburg sporting director Olaf Rebbe said.
A warden had already been struck by a flare when Braunschweig fans lit pyrotechnics before the second half.