USMNT's Alfredo Morales, Ingolstadt earn first-ever Bundesliga promotion

BERLIN (AP) — Ingolstadt was promoted to theBundesliga for the first time with a 2-1 home victory over Leipzig to win the German second division on Sunday.

Australia forward Mathew Leckie cancelled outDominik Kaiser's fourth-minute opener for Leipzig with a penalty before the break and Stefan Lex secured the win in the 77th, giving Ingolstadt an unassailable seven-point lead over Darmstadt with one round of games remaining.

Ingolstadt, which is backed by German car manufacturer Audi, was formed in 2004 following the merger of local sides MTV Ingolstadt and ESV Ingolstadt. Audi, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group, is headquartered in the Bavarian town of 132,000 inhabitants north of Munich.

The club secured promotion from the Bavarian league to the third-tier regional league in 2006 and won promotion to the second division in 2008. Relegation followed the next season before it bounced back the following year.

Ingolstadt's form improved when coach Ralph Hasenhuettl took over in Oct. 2013. The 47-year-old Austrian's side led the German second division from the eighth round this season.

"I'm so proud of what has been achieved here. If someone told me we'd achieve promotion to the Bundesliga when I took over I wouldn't have believed them," Hasenhuettl said.

Darmstadt's promotion party was postponed at least one week after a 1-0 defeat atGreuther Fuerth. Darmstadt was left on 56 points, one ahead of Karlsruher SC, which moved ahead of Kaiserslautern on goal difference.

Karlsruher SC won 2-0 at Eintracht Braunschweig while Kaiserslautern could only draw 0-0 at Erzgebirge Aue.

The third-place finisher has a playoff against the side that finishes third from bottom in Bundesliga for top-flight football next season.

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