Holstein Kiel is promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history. The second division table leader fought to a 1-1 (1-0) draw against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday evening and can therefore no longer be pushed out of one of the two direct promotion places on the last matchday.

In front of 15,034 spectators in the sold-out Holstein Stadium, the Kiel team had to tremble again after Christos Tzolis’ equalizer (69th minute/foul penalty). At the beginning, however, they were very lucky. Benedikt Pichler took the first chance of the game to take the lead after 107 seconds. This was followed by one of the biggest upsets of the entire second division season.

Holstein defender Patrick Erras clearly cleared a header from Vincent Vermeij shortly before the goal line with his hand (4th). But although referee Sven Jablonski (Bremen) looked at the scene again on the video screen on the sidelines, a corner was awarded instead of a penalty. “If the hand wasn’t there, the ball would have gone into the goal,” criticized Fortuna’s sports director Klaus Allofs on Sky. Düsseldorf’s attacker Felix Klaus also had an unfortunate collision with Kiel’s goalkeeper Timon Weiner and had to be replaced injured.

Düsseldorf has already secured the relegation place since Friday evening, when fourth-placed Hamburger SV lost 1-0 in Paderborn. Fortuna still has a small theoretical chance of direct promotion. But for FC St. Pauli, second in the table, just one point against relegated VfL Osnabrück on Sunday (1:30 p.m./Sky) is enough to emulate Kiel and complete their own return to the Bundesliga after 13 years.