Oliver Glasner named a strong side for the first half, with new signing Jesper Lindström making his debut and Erik Durm, Daichi Kamada and Ajdin Hrustic all featuring for the first time under the new head coach.
Dominant first half
On a warm afternoon in Frankfurt, Glasner’s men dominated from the off and created the first chance in the ninth minute, when Aymen Barkok headed the ball into the ground and onto the crossbar from Hrustic’s corner. The next shot on target didn’t arrive until the 29th minute, when the energetic Lindström laid the ball off to Kostic, whose low shot from the left corner of the area was smothered by Sandhausen goalkeeper Patrick Drewes.
However, Eintracht finally got the opening goal that their dominance merited just a few minutes later, as Kostic’s powerful left-footed shot from long range beat Drewes this time. The hosts continued to control proceedings and took a narrow lead into the half-time break.
New-look Eagles protect lead
The second period had a different feel to it, not least because Glasner changed his entire line-up at the break, with a number of youngsters – including recent signings Ali Akman and Fabio Blanco – coming on. Sandhausen had more possession than in the first half, but the Eagles’ youthful defence largely kept them at bay.
The contest came to life again in the final 10 minutes, with Bashkim Ajdini and Daniel Keita-Ruel both going close for the second-division side. At the other end, Dejan Joveljic’s deflected shot was tipped behind by Drewes, and Akman was also denied by the Sandhausen keeper after some fine skill, with what was the last kick of the match.
Head coach Oliver Glasner: “I’m very pleased, particularly as we pretty much went from training into the game. We managed to implement a lot of the things we’ve been talking about. It was important to see that the processes and patterns were becoming clearer in each phase. We mixed things up. In the first half, we were entirely in the opposition half for 30, 35 minutes. Before the game I said that from the first second to the last, I want to see Eintracht Frankfurt. There’s no A- and B-team here. We’re a team, as all the lads have proved.”
Ramaj (Bignetti 46’) - Ndicka (Otto 46’), Hasebe (Irorere 46’), Chandler (Gebuhr 46’) – Kostic (Blanco 46’), Hrustic (Stendera 46’), Salazar (Hyryläinen 46’), Durm (Da Costa 46’) – Barkok (Joveljic 46’), Kamada (Akman 46’) – Lindström (Paciencia 46’)
1-0 Kostic (32’)