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Hamburg relegated for 1st time; Wolfsburg to compete in play-off

Hamburger SV’s 54-year run in Germany’s top flight ended Saturday with a match against Borussia Monchengladbach that had to be abandoned due to unrest among disgruntled home supporters who have never experienced relegation.

Meanwhile, VfL Wolfsburg is off to the relegation play-off for a second straight year and will take on second-tier outfit Holstein Kiel for a chance to remain in the Bundesliga.

Hamburg’s 2-1 victory on the final day of the campaign was irrelevant to its hopes of avoiding relegation. The only club to feature in every season since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963 finished 17th in the table and will compete in the second tier for the first time ever. Its fate was decided by Wolfsburg’s win over FC Koln.

Before time was officially up on Hamburg’s season, the match official was forced to abandon the game after supporters at the Volksparkstadion threw flares onto the pitch, sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

Relegation to 2. Bundesliga stopped a clock that was a point of pride among Hamburg supporters, as it recorded the time that the “dinosaur” club has spent in the top flight.

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

In response, travelling Monchengladbach supporters brought their own “clock” into the stadium to count down the minutes until Hamburg’s relegation was confirmed.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg produced a dominant performance against FC Koln that could have elevated Bruno Labbadia’s men out of the drop zone if it hadn’t been for Freiburg’s 2-0 triumph over Augsburg.

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