FRANKFURT, Germany — One day after being diagnosed with a tumor, Marco Russ gave up an own goal that earned Nuremberg a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga playoff on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Russ also got a booking, and the accumulated yellow cards rule the Eintracht captain out of the second leg on Monday in Nuremberg. The overall winner will play in the Bundesliga next season, with the loser going to the second tier.
Mijat Gacinovic scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 65th to cancel out the unfortunate strike by Russ in the 43rd.
Nuremberg never created a chance in the match that was dominated by Eintracht, which finished 16th in the Bundesliga. Nuremberg placed third in the second division.
The away goal could prove decisive, although Eintracht looked the more dangerous team throughout the match.
Russ was given a standing ovation at the end of the match. The defender's illness came to light after a drug test nearly three weeks ago revealed abnormally high hormone levels. The anti-doping agency informed Eintracht only the day before the match and recommended medical tests that revealed the tumor.
Russ insisted on playing and was cleared by doctors to do so. Eintracht has not said what tumor is involved. Russ will have an operation on Tuesday.
"I am very surprised that it took nearly three weeks to tell us about the drug test," Eintracht coach Niko Kovac said.