St. Pauli promoted back to the Bundesliga after 13-year wait

St. Pauli returned to the Bundesliga on Sunday with a 3-1 win over relegated Osnabrück in Germany’s second division.

Oladapo Afolayan scored twice and set up Marcel Hartel for St. Pauli’s third goal as the home team moved top of the league with an unassailable six-point lead over third-place Fortuna Düsseldorf with one round of games remaining.

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The top two in the division are promoted, while the third-place finisher — now certain to be Düsseldorf — faces a two-leg playoff against the team that finishes third from bottom in the Bundesliga — as it stands, Union Berlin — to see which will play in the top division next season.

The playoffs are scheduled for May 23 and 27.

Holstein Kiel, one point behind St. Pauli, secured their first ever promotion to the Bundesliga on Saturday.

St. Pauli were relegated from the Bundesliga in 2011. It will be the first time that the left-wing cult club from Hamburg’s red-light district will play in a league above city rival Hamburg SV.

Hamburg, the longest surviving founding member of the Bundesliga, was finally relegated in 2018 after several close shaves. They lost 1-0 at Paderborn on Friday, ensuring another season in the second division.

St Pauli are known for having an alternative fan scene and left-wing supporter base as well as for their social projects in the community, their support for refugees and minorities and their projects such as installing beehives in their stadium roof to raise environmental awareness.

Information from the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.