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Sports

Eintracht Frankfurt stumble in first leg of Bundesliga playoff against Nuremberg

Nuremberg have the advantage of an away goal after they held on for a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Bundesliga relegation playoff at the Commerzbank Arena.

A nervous-looking Eintracht Frankfurt had to come from a goal down to rescue a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Bundesliga relegation playoff at home to second-division Nuremberg on Thursday.

The result leaves Nuremberg with the slight advantage of an away goal before Monday's return game in Bavaria, while Eintracht will be disappointed not to have converted their obvious superiority into a victory.

With 51,000 fans roaring on their team in the sold-out Commerzbank Arena, a fired-up Eintracht immediately threatened the visitors' goal. Midfielder Stefan Aigner stung Nuremberg goalkeeper Rafael Schäfer's hands with an angled effort in the seventh minute as the hosts searched for an early opener.

Unlucky Russ

Nuremberg weathered the initial storm without creating much danger themselves and were gifted a goal shortly before the break when Sebastian Kerk's hopeful free kick into the box was turned into his own net by defender Marco Russ.

It was another cruel blow for the Eintracht captain after it was announced just hours before kickoff he had been diagnosed with a tumor and needs surgery.

Mijat Gacinovic brought Eintracht level midway through the second half when the ball fell kindly for him in the area and he clipped a shot past Schäfer.

The Nuremberg keeper did well to keep out a powerful Gacinovic header 13 minutes from time before the match, which was short on moments of genuine quality, ended in a stalemate.

The winner of the two-legged tie will earn the right to play in the Bundesliga next season, while the loser will have to settle for second-division football.

Second-division champions Freiburg and second-placed RB Leipzig have already secured the two automatic promotion berths from the second division, and will replace relegated Stuttgart and Hannover in the top flight next season.

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