Fürth - Eintracht Frankfurt claimed their first win in seven games to beat a spirited Greuther Fürth side 3-2 in the Trolli Arena.
Djurdjic on point, Inui clinical
After the hosts had taken a second-minute lead through Nikola Djurdjic, Eintracht hit back to put themselves 3-1 up thanks to goals from Takashi Inui, Stefan Aigner and Alexander Meier. Sercan Sararer’s classy goal put the Clover Leaves within touching distance again, but they were unable to find a leveller and remain rooted to the foot of the table. Frankfurt, meanwhile, are back on course for European qualification after moving up to fifth.
The home side, nine points adrift of the relegation play-off place, had secured a creditable 2-2 draw in Bremen on Matchday 26, and the confidence gained from that result was evident in the way they began the game. From their first attack they forced a corner, and when the ball was swung in, Eintracht forward Meier’s misdirected header was turned in by Djurdjic.
Frankfurt, with 38-year-old Ola Nikolov in goal in place of the injured Kevin Trapp, were rattled from the early strike, and Sercan Sararer got in behind to provide another nervy moment. Slowly but surely, however, the Eagles began to organise themselves and after Aigner’s header was ruled out for offside, their equaliser arrived via Inui, as the winger dropped a shoulder to arrow a low strike into the corner.
It was the Japanese international’s sixth of the season and his first in 2013, and it roused Armin Veh’s side from their slumber. Both teams struggled to control proceedings on a rather patchy pitch, but the Eagles adapted better and took a more direct style that should have put them in front at the break. Unfortunately for them, Srdjan Lakic twice headed off target from two presentable positions.
Aside from their bright opening to the game, Fürth had struggled to create many more openings, and it was a similar story for Frank Kramer’s side in the early moments of the second half. They competed well enough in midfield, but too often their final ball was lacking, leaving strikers Djurdjic and Sararer frustrated.
Eintracht simply made better use of the ball when in advanced positions, and they struck two decisive blows just after the hour-mark. From a Bastian Ozcipka cross, Aigner took his time to lash in a near-post drive and put his side in front, before Meier ended 800 goalless minutes by drilling in sweetly from the edge of the box.
To their credit, though, the home side didn’t give in and Sararer capped a purposeful run with a crisp finish in off the post to ensure a tense final 15. Yet despite launching cross after cross into the box, the hosts couldn’t break through a committed Eagles’ defence, and were left to suffer their first defeat under recently appointed head coach Frank Kramer.
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