German capital club Hertha Berlin were relegated from the Bundesliga on Tuesday after a drama-filled 2-2 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf completed a 4-3 victory for the 2.Liga club in the promotion-relegation playoff.
The match was marred by crowd trouble, with a pitch invasion almost forcing referee Wolfgang Stark to abandon the game, before he called it off with a minute to play.
The result ends Dusseldorf’s 15-year absence from Germany’s top flight, while it sends Hertha back down to the second tier after only one season up.
Maximilian Beister gave Fortuna a first-minute lead, before Anis Ben-Hatira levelled midway through the opening half.
However the Tunisian went from hero to villain after an ugly two-footed challenge saw him sent off on 54 minutes and moments later Dusseldorf went ahead again through Ranislav Jovanovic.
Raffael pulled a goal back on 85 minutes after working a nice one-two with Adrian Ramos to ensure a tense finale, which was made worse by fans invading the pitch. Hertha’s fans hardly helped, throwing fireworks onto the pitch in the dying moments.
With fans invading the pitch, causing the players to leave the playing field, the match was eventually called off with a minute to play, handing Fortuna their spot in the Bundesliga.