Eintracht Frankfurt beat Real Betis at the last to seal UEFA Europa League quarter-final berth
Eintracht Frankfurt joined Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw, thanks to a last-minute extra-time win over Spain’s Real Betis.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Real Betis (agg: 3-2, Frankfurt win after extra time)
Goals: 0-1 Iglesias (assist: Fekir) 90', 1-1 Rodriguez (assist: Kostic) 120'+1
Defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Spain, but with away goals a thing of the past, Frankfurt survived a couple of early scares as Miranda blazed over and had another effort charged down. Eintracht’s response was almost emphatic, but Borussia Dortmund loanee Ansgar Knauff’s drive from inside the area came back off the crossbar. Rafael Santos Borre missed a sitter late in the first half, though his blushes would have been saved by a late offside flag.
The hero of Frankfurt’s run to the 2018/19 semi-finals, Martin Hinteregger came up with a big block to deny Joaquin soon after the restart. Kevin Trapp then pulled off a sensational diving save to thwart Juanmi, but not before Filip Kostic had thundered a free-kick against the woodwork. Substitute Borja Iglesias fluffed his lines from eight yards out, only to atone with a 90th-minute tie leveller. Betis hit the crossbar in extra-time, but the Eagles won through at the last as Guido Rodriguez inadvertently turned in Kostic's 121st-minute free-kick.
Frankfurt last reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2018/19, beating Benfica on away goals on their way to the semis.
Six of the starting line-up against Betis were involved in that fary-tale run.
Eintracht won the competition under its former UEFA Cup guise, in 1980.
They beat Borussia Mönchengladbach on away goals in the 1980 final, and could face Bundesliga club Leipzig in the last eight of this season's tournament.
Kamada is Frankfurt’s top scorer in Europe this season with four goals. He’s also the highest scoring Japanese player in UEFA Cup/Europa League history with 10 in 18 games.
Frankfurt extended their unbeaten run against Spanish opposition to seven games.
Europa League Round of 16, second leg Round of 16, second leg Deutsche Bank Park
Decisive goal given as an O.G.
UEFA's website shows that it was Guido Rodriguez who got the crucial touch on the ball to send Kostic's free kick past his own 'keeper. That most certainly doesn't change the aggregate score, however, with Die Adler advancing to the last eight by 3-2 on aggregate.
Would you honestly believe it? Sensational. Oliver Glasner is doing his best impression of an Eagle, arms spread wide as he races across the pitch. Just when we seemed all set for penalties, Hinteregger stooped to edge past the distraught Rui Silva, who really shouldn't have come for that, not that these home fans care. Frankfurt are into the last eight!
GOAL GOAL GOAL
SCENES ! Kostic lifts one very last free kick into the area and Hinteregger stoops to nod past the advancing keeper. Unbelievable ! The Eagles are going through !
Eintracht came closest to scoring in the opening 45 minutes, with Knauff very unlucky to find the woodwork after being played in by Sow. Oliver Glasner will be more than satisfied with Eintracht's efforts in that half. The Eagles maintain their 2-1 aggregate advantage.
Borre let off
Frankfurt fans have heads in hands as Borre diverts one wide when all on his own in front of the target. It's just as well for the Colombian forward that there was an offside flag up in the build up. That was a hell of a chance.
Miranda ok to continue
Miranda - previously down receiving treatment following a bang to the head - is back into the action following a brief scare.
Die Adler in control
Eintracht are unbeaten in their last six games against Spanish opposition and Betis will need to redouble their efforts if they are to trouble Die Adler, who are bossing this game right now.
The men in black look to have finally found their rhythm and are beginning to build some nice attacks. Sow lashes a low shot into the arms of goalkeeper Rui Silva from the edge of the area.
Off the bar !!!
A sudden burst forward from the Eagles ends with Sow threading a superb pass through for Knauff who prods a high shot goalwards and is left crestfallen as his effort cannons off the crossbar.
Verdiblancos edging it
The visitors are looking ever more sharper in attack as they take a foothold of this second leg. Miranda has a swipe at goal but his shot is defected away. Coach Glasner is calling for calm from the Eintracht bench.
First chance Betis
Loose defending from Frankfurt allows Joaquin plenty of space to cut back for Miranda, who blasts over the top.
The home fans are making plenty of noise as both teams size each other up in the opening stages.
Game on !
The ball is rolling in Frankfurt as the hosts look to make it through to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.
It's almost time
So, we're all set for what is only the second meeting between these teams in European competition. Lest we forget, Eintracht lead 2-1 on aggregate thanks to goals from Filip Kostić and Daichi Kamada in the first leg.
Betis going for it
An understandably attacking line-up from the visitors, given the circumstances. Sergio Canales is going to play as a nominal defensive midfielder with license to roam while Joaquin comes in to captain the side. William Carvalho drops to the bench.
As you were for Frankfurt
Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner was sufficiently happy with what he saw in last weekend's 2-1 win against Bochum as the Eagles start with the same XI tonight to that which began their successful Bundesliga encounter on Sunday.
Real Betis coach, Manuel Pellegrini, says his La Liga side will give everything they've got to turn this tie around as they start 2-1 behind on aggregate. "We'll try from the very start, convinced that we are capable but that's something you have to prove throughout the 90 minutes," the Chilean noted.
Eintracht fans set to make some noise
"We want to offer the Eintracht fans inside the stadium a great Europa League evening," Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner said in the lead up to tonight's game. "We're looking forward to a half-full stadium with 25,000 fans at Deutsche Bank Park, and that was after we had 4,000 with us in Seville (in the first leg)" the tactician added.
In Trapp Frankfurt trust
Eintracht's goalkeeper shared some interesting thoughts on how he sees tonight's second leg, saying, "When we deliver in a way that makes us strong on the pitch, we're hard to beat. It's all about progressing now and, in the final analysis, we have this [tie] in our own hands. We have to trust ourselves. If we do that, then it doesn't matter how the opponent performs."
Welcome along !
We're all set for tonight's BIG UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second leg between Eintracht and Betis. The hosts hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg and are in prime position to advance to the competition's last eight.