Eintracht Frankfurt beat Sporting Lisbon to reach UEFA Champions League Round of 16
Daichi Kamada and Randal Kolo Muani were on target as competition debutants Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to get the win they needed to reach the UEFA Champions League round of 16 at the expense of Sporting Lisbon.
Keen to pull off a feat previously achieved by Stuttgart and Kaiserslautern, namely qualifying for the knockout stages on their debut appearance in the Champions League, Eintracht looked to settle quickly into their final Group D game. The tension palpable inside the Estadio Jose Alvalade, first-half chances were at a premium. Kevin Trapp saved from Marcus Edwards early on, while at the other end Paulinho's glancing header towards his own goal called for goalkeeper Antonio Adan to be alert. An evenly balanced opening period was then tipped in Sporting's favour when Manuel Ugarte's cross from the right clipped Djibril Sow and looped down to the feet of Arthur Gomes. The attacker's powerful shot was blocked by Trapp, but it wasn't enough to prevent the ball from bouncing over the line to give the hosts the lead.
With Marseille taking a late lead at the end of the first half of their game against Tottenham Hotspur in the section's other game, the visitors were staring elimination from European competition in the face. A spark was needed, and it arrived when Sebastian Coates, under pressure from Kamada, handled in his own area. Eintracht's Japanese midfielder placed the ball on the spot and calmly slotted in the equaliser. Incredibly, the Eagles soared into the lead just 10 minutes later. Kolo Muani - so often the scourge of Bundesliga defences this season - burst through on the right and lashed in a shot to the delight of the away fans. Spurs' late win in France means Oliver Glasner's UEFA Europa League holders progress as runners-up in the section.
This is Frankfurt's first-ever appearance in the Champions League.
At least three Bundesliga teams will be in the hat for the last-16 draw (Frankfurt, plus Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund).
Kamada is currently Eintracht's leading Champions League scorer (three), and second in the club's all-time list for European goals on 14 in 36 games. Only Bernd Hölzenbein has more (24 in 40).
Kolo Muani has six goals and eight assists so far this season.
The Eagles won the Europa League in 2021/22 without losing.
The reverse fixture marked the first competitive meeting between these two sides.
Pellegrini whips in a corner from the right but it goes over everybody and zips wide of the far post. Disappointing.
Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner is hunkered down watching this game with a worried look. Sporting are looking menacing when they push forward here. Eintracht haven't created an awful lot in terms of big chances in this game. The visitors need a spark from somewhere.
GAME BACK ON
We're back underway in Lisbon. Marseille taking a late lead at the end of the first half in the group's other game against Tottenham Hotspur has significantly raised the urgency for Eintracht here. The Eagles are currently bottom of Group D as things stand.
Eintracht go into the break a goal down. As things stand, the visitors are sitting third in the section with Sporting leading Group D.
Eintracht corner and Tuta suddenly has a free header. He arcs his body and nods straight into the arms of Adan. That was a big chance for the Eagles.
The hosts hit the front. A cross from the right takes a deflection off Sow, sending the ball looping to the feet of Arthur Gomes, whose low shot has the sting taken out of it by Trapp, but not enough to prevent the ball rolling over the line.
Uneventful opening to this one as both teams cautiously pass it around looking to settle into their respective shapes.
AWAY WE GO !
Game on in Lisbon! Eintracht are kitted out all in red as they go in search of a place in the Round of 16.
THE FINE DETAILS
Eintracht's shot-stopper Kevin Trapp has also been having his say on the Group D encounter at the Estadio Jose Alvalade: "We need to stay focused for the full 90 minutes, defend as a team and bring our own strengths into play. That’s the only way to win a game at this level, where it always comes down to the little details.”
Here's what Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner had to say about this massive Champions League decider in Lisbon: "It’s like a final and we’re looking forward to it. I have huge respect for Sporting, I really like the way they play. It’s a game that could go either way, as has been the case for every match in this group. We’re hoping that we end up being the ones who get the rub of the green.”
EINTRACHT TEAM NEWS
The visitors make just one change to the side that started last weekend's home defeat against Borussia Dortmund with Djibril Sow in for Sebastian Rode.
St. Juste comes back into a three-man defence for the hosts, who will also have Paulinho in attack again. Matheus Reis and Trincão are only on the bench, however, while Hidemasa Morita misses out completely.
Adan - St. Juste, Coates (c), Inacio - Porro, Goncalves, Ugarte, Santos - Edwards, Paulinho, Arthur Gomes
GROUP INS AND OUTS
Currently third in Group D, trailing leaders Tottenham Hotspur by a single point and behind Sporting on goal difference, Eintracht can advance to the Round of 16 with a win here and the Eagles could even top the section should they win and Spurs do not. If both matches in the group are drawn, Oliver Glasner's men will bag third place and a place in the Europa League play-offs.
WELCOME ALONG !
Hello, hello and consider yourselves very welcome to this evening's coverage of what is a huge Champions League encounter for the Bundesliga's own, Eintracht Frankfurt at Sporting Clube de Portugal.