05.05.2022
International

Eintracht reach Europa League final!

Rafael Borré’s first-half goal gave Eintracht a 1-0 win in the second leg against West Ham United and sealed their place in the final.

There were two changes to the starting XI compared to the first leg last week. Evan Ndicka, who missed out in London due to suspension, returned in place of Almamy Toure, while Jens Petter Hauge replaced the injured Jesper Lindström. Martin Hinteregger recovered from the illness that kept him out of Monday’s Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen.

Eagles pounce

With so much at stake and an electric atmosphere inside the stadium, the game got off to a cagey start, and Eintracht were not helped when Hinteregger was forced off after just eight minutes with a hamstring injury. The Eagles’ luck changed in the 19th minute, though, when West Ham were reduced to 10 men. Aaron Cresswell was initially shown a yellow card by referee Jesus Gil Manzano for hauling down Hauge as he latched onto a ball over the top, but after consulting VAR, the Hammers defender was shown a red card. From the subsequent free-kick, Filip Kostic fired just wide.

That incident lifted the Eintracht players and supporters, and it didn’t take them long to capitalise on their numerical advantage. With 26 minutes on the clock, Toure released Ansgar Knauff down the right and he cut it back brilliantly for Borré, who coolly slotted it into the bottom corner. The visitors didn’t really threaten an equaliser until shortly before half-time, when a free-kick from the right flank bounced off the thigh of Michail Antonio and Ndicka had to clear off the line (44’).

Over the finishing line

West Ham threw more men forward in the second half in search of a way back into the contest, but Eintracht held firm, with the back three of Ndicka, Tuta and Toure making a number of vital interceptions and challenges. Craig Dawson’s downward header was a comfortable save for Kevin Trapp (60’), who was also alert to push away Antonio’s drilled ball across the goal (71’). The visitors then had manager David Moyes sent to the stands as emotions spilled over on the touchline (78’).

The Eagles also had their opportunities, with Kostic striking the side netting with a powerful shot (73’) and Goncalo Paciencia volleying just wide seconds after coming on (83’). It remained 1-0, though, and the full-time whistle sparked wild scenes at Deutsche Bank Park as Frankfurt celebrated reaching their first European final in 42 years.

Summary: Historic night

Just like the first leg, it was a tight and hard-fought contest, but there can be little argument that Eintracht deserved to emerge victorious after the 180 minutes. The early red card certainly helped, but the Eagles did a superb job in managing the rest of the game and will now face Rangers in the final in Seville on 18 May.

SGE line-up

Trapp – Tuta, Hinteregger (Toure 8’), Ndicka – Knauff, Sow, Rode (Jakic 76’), Kostic – Hauge (Hrustic 82’), Kamada – Borré (Paciencia 82’)

Goals

1-0 Borré (26’)

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