Bielefeld remain in top flight

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Bielefeld had been under the threat of relegation, needing to win at Stuttgart to make sure or hope closest rivals FC Nuremburg lost at home to high-flying Schalke 04.

It all went Bielefeld’s way as Nuremburg went 2-0 down and Bielefeld led for most of the match at the outgoing champions, leading as early as the 10th minute though Robert Tesche.

With Sibusiso Zuma injured and Siyabonga Nkosi left on the bench, Fernandez kept the South African flag flying at the club but was beaten by a 75th minute penalty and then again 10 minutes later as the game was drawing to a close.

That left Bielefeld on dangerous ground but they managed a late equaliser from Christian Eigler for a valuable away point and a season finish one place above the drop zone.

Bielefeld, who fired ex-Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp halfway through the season after a disappointing start to the campaign, finished with 24 points, three ahead of Nuremburg, who dropped down.