Frankfurt weathered an early storm as Darmstadt’s Mathias Honsak went within a whisker of turning in Marvin Mehlem’s right-wing cross. Eintracht showed the Lilies how it was done moments later when the irrepressible Kolo Muani headed in from Aurelio Buta for his 13th competitive goal of the season. Buta went for a quick-one two, but Rafael Borre blazed the Frankfurt right-back’s cross over. After Marcel Schuhen pulled off a point-blank save from Mario Götze, Darmstadt stunned the vociferous home crowd with two well-taken goals in as many minutes through Mathias Honsak. Phillip Tietz missed the chance to add a third, and was punished when Borre put away Götze’s smart lay-off on the stroke of half time.
Frankfurt carried the greater threat in the second half as Sebastian Rode flashed a diving header just wide, before Daichi Kamada collected from Kolo Muani and arrowed a superb outside-of-the-boot finish into the far corner from fully 20 yards. Darmstadt responded in kind, with Tietz striking the woodwork and an offside flag denying Mehlem after Kevin Trapp had saved from Tobias Kempe. Buta was played through on goal by Götze as the contest opened up, but failed to make a clean connection with his attempted shot. Kolo Muani took advantage of tired Darmstadt legs to complete his brace and secure Frankfurt's passage to the last eight, where the likes of Bayern Munich, holders RB Leipzig and Freiburg await.
Kolo Muani has three goals and as many assists in this season's DFB Cup.
Kamada also has three cup goals this term.
Borre scored his third goal of the season in all competitions.
Only Bayern (20) and Werder Bremen (six) have won the DFB Cup more often than Frankfurt (five), with their most recent title in 2018.
Frankfurt have reached the semi-finals or better in three of the last six seasons.
This was Darmstadt’s eighth appearance in the DFB Cup last 16. They have only progressed to the quarter-finals once (in 1986/87).
DFB Pokal Round of 16 Round of 16 Deutsche Bank Park
What a fantastic cup tie!
What a treat in the DFB Cup last 16! Eintracht Frankfurt are the winners, and hit some wonderful goals, but Darmstadt can be extremely proud of how they applied themselves and matched the Europa League winners for so long - if they keep performing like that, we may well see them in the Bundesliga next season!
Final minute of stoppage time
Four extra minutes were indicated with Eintracht almost home now.
With Darmstadt throwing everything forward, Frankfurt spring them open on a quick break. Götze, who has been excellent tonight, threads a ball past the defence for Kolo Muani to chase onto - he takes it inside and applies a typically excellent finish!
There's no sign of this game quietening down as we head into the final few minutes. Frankfurt are furiously pushing for a fourth goal, Darmstadt are hustling them and breaking with full pelt whenever possible.
Darmstadt threaten on a quick break and Honsak has a decent shot - it misses the target but that could have been his hat-trick.
Fascinating final stages ahead
With three goals already, you would think favourites Frankfurt should see their lead through to claim a spot in the quarter-finals. It has been such an enthralling and downright crazy game anything could happen though!
The Frankfurt header does well to connect with a cross but sends his effort wide.
Borre goes down in the box
No penalty is awarded despite his appeals after Zimmermann challenges him. Honsak then shoots over as the visitors go on the attack.
The hosts are pressing
Frankfurt are still looking for ways to gain control. They work the ball around the box well in a good three or four minute spell of attacking pressure, but Darmstadt are getting men back, and blocking or clearing everything that comes their way until Rode has a shot deflected over.
Schnellhardt almost sneaks one in
Just as in the first half, as soon as Eintracht look to be on top of things, Darmstadt come and change the equation. They don't find the net this time, but Schnellhardt's shot from distance goes just the wrong side of the post with Trapp looking like he was beaten!
A little more calm in store?
You get the feeling both coaches may have told their charges during the break to tighten things up, and the football looks a little more structured for now - with Eintracht bossing possession and Darmstadt sitting back. Kolo Muani is his lively self, testing the visitors' defence with a couple of sprints.
Visitors Darmstadt have stunned their local rivals twice in the space of two minutes! It's Mathias Honsak again, with Schnellhardt picking out his clever run and the Austrian slamming the ball in for a shock lead.
Just when Eintracht seemed to be getting comfortable, Darmstadt show the kind of clinical touch that has brought them to the top of Bundesliga 2. Rode loses the ball in a passing sequence in midfield, it gets cut across by Mehlem to Honsak, who turns in pass Trapp to level.
After a fairly even opening, Eintracht are starting to make their class count. They are keeping the ball well, with 62% possession, and posing a series of stern tests to the Darmstadt defence with sharp runs behind.
Great chance for Götze
The hosts overwhelm the Darmstadt defensive lines again. Max cuts the ball across and Götze takes aim from short range but Schuhen denies the German World Cup winner with a point-blank save.
There's been plenty for neutrals to feast on thus far. The game has been played at a frantic pace, with both sides looking to go forward whenever possible. The quality of Frankfurt's attacking has given them a deserved lead.
Kolo Muani goes down in the box
The incident came on another quick Frankfurt attack with Zimmermann challenging. No penalty is given.
Clash of heads in the box
Tuta collides in the Darmstadt box with defender Müller and play is paused to allow medical staff to check the pair. They are bandaged up and play on.
Chance for 2-0
Darmstadt's brave start seems to have left them exposed to Eintracht's attacking pace. Buta pulls a cross in from the right and Borre fires over from a good position in front of goal.
You just can't stop him scoring!
Kolo Muani leaps to meet a cross from Buta and heads past Schuhen - with too much power for the Darmstadt keeper to prevent it crossing the line. Eintracht lead with the French attacker scoring in his fourth consecutive game!
The visitors push forward again and Mehlem cuts an inviting cross in from the right that just evades Honsak in the middle.
The away side have shown they mean business in the opening minutes, pushing right into the Frankfurt half.
Away we go!
We underway in the clash between fifth in the Bundesliga and first in Bundesliga 2.
Derby night at Deutsche Bank Park
The atmosphere is building very nicely with a cup clash ahead under the lights.
Darmstadt team news
Torsten Lieberknecht also makes two changes for the Bundesliga 2 leaders compared to the side that won 4-0 at Sandhausen on Friday. Emir Karic is drafted into defence in the place of Thomas Isherwood, while attacking midfielder Mehlem is called in for Oscar Vilhelmsson.
Frankfurt team news
Just two changes from Oliver Glasner as he shows how seriously he is taking the DFB Cup (possibly also with local bragging rights against nearby Darmstadt in mind). One is an enforced change, with Jesper Lindstrom dropping out of the side that beat Hertha Berlin 3-0 on Saturday due to a thigh injury. Rafael Borre replaces him, while Sebastian Rode slots in for Djibril Sow and takes the captain's armband.
Ramaj, Chandler, C. Lenz, Smolcic, Jakic, Knauff, Sow, Alario, Alidou
Glasner is without Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe and Jesper Lindstrom, while Matthias Bader, Aaron Seydel, Klaus Gjasula and Patric Pfeiffer are all missing for Darmstadt.
Derby fever in Darmstadt
"It's a derby, everyone here is excited," explained Darmstadt head coach Torsten Lieberknecht. "We've played in big games of late against the likes of Hamburg, so we know what to expect. We want to deliver a performance befitting the occasion. We know Frankfurt are the favourites and we're the underdogs, but I've told the players to soak up the atmosphere and go out and enjoy themselves."
Watch: All Kolo Muani's Bundesliga goals and assists
Frankfurt's Main man (get it?) has nine Bundesliga goals and a league-leading 10 assists so far this season. The Frenchman's also had a direct had in four goals in the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup.
How they got here
Kolo Muani scored in the second round of the DFB Cup as Frankfurt dispatched Stuttgarter Kickers 2-0. Daichi Kamada stole the show in the opening round, hitting a brace in a 4-0 win over Bundesliga 2's Magdeburg. For their part, Darmstadt won 3-0 in Ingolstadt, before claiming the scalp of Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1).
Watch: Frankfurt 3-0 Hertha Berlin
Randal Kolo Muani's brace set Frankfurt on course for a routine win in the German capital on Saturday.
Watch: Sandhausen 0-4 Darmstadt
Mathias Honsak struck twice as Darmstadt cemented their place at the top of Bundesliga 2 with a convincing 4-0 win at Sandhausen at the weekend.
Intrigue abounds as Eintracht Frankfurt host local rivals Darmstadt in the DFB Cup round of 16. Frankfurt are flying in the Bundesliga, a seven-match unbeaten run lifting them to fifth and only five points behind leaders Bayern. Darmstadt are bidding to join them in the top flight next term, and currently lead Bundesliga 2. Something has to give!