Bundesliga: Hannover win 2-1 to stay up and send Freiburg down
Last Updated: 23/05/15 5:10pm
Hannover earned their place in the Bundesliga next season and sent Freiburg into the second division with a 2-1 win at the Niedersachsenstadion.
Hiroshi Kiyotake put the Reds in front early on and a late own-goal from Pavel Krmas secured their top-flight status.
With Hamburg and Stuttgart both winning their final-day matches, a late Nils Petersen consolation was not enough to prevent Christian Streich's men from being relegated along with Paderborn.
Manuel Schmiedebach made his return to the Hannover starting XI for the suspended Hiroki Sakai, but that was the only change from the side which picked up a first win of 2015 last weekend.
There were no changes to the Freiburg starting XI for the third game running, meaning their top-scorer Petersen was once again left on the bench.
Five of the eight goals he has scored this season have come when he has sprung from the bench, though, meaning Streich still had a valuable option up his sleeve.
He might have needed it sooner than he had hoped, though, as Hannover took a fourth-minute lead through Kiyotake, who headed in Miiko Albornoz's cross.
The hosts took a deep breath and started building the barricades with that one goal enough to secure their place in the Bundesliga next season.
As Freiburg tried to find a way through, coming close at times to succeeding, Hannover started to find more and more gaps on the break.
In a hectic ending to the match, a Jimmy Briand cross was touched off the line by Roman Burki, but Krmas was powerless to divert the loose ball into his own goal, practically sealing Freiburg's relegation in the cruellest of fashions.
Super-sub Petersen came on and he pulled a goal back deep in stoppage-time, but that was too little too late for Freiburg, who will be playing in the 2. Bundesliga next season.