Eintracht Frankfurt attacker Ante Rebic was the match-winner in the DFB Cup final on Saturday, scoring a brace in a 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich to help Niko Kovac end his reign as Eagles coach on a high note against his future employers.
Bayern Munich 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 0-1 Rebic (11'), 1-1 Lewandowski (53'), 1-2 Rebic (82'), 1-3 Gacinovic (90+6')
If the big news prior to kick-off was the sight of Manuel Neuer on the substitutes' bench for the first time following his lengthy injury, Bayern soon trained their focus to on-field matters and had the first chance of the game when Robert Lewandowski hit the crossbar with an early free-kick. However, it was Frankfurt who took the lead when Ante Rebic robbed James Rodriguez of possession in midfield, and played a one-two with Kevin-Prince Boateng before expertly drilling a low shot into the corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Bayern wasted a few good chances to equalise before eventually doing so early in the second half when Niklas Süle's threaded pass released Joshua Kimmich down the right, and his cut-back into the middle was tucked home by Lewandowski. With the match seemingly heading for extra-time as the teams cancelled each other out, Rebic pounced once again late on, beating Süle to a long ball forward and placing a composed finish beyond Sven Ulreich. Bayern poured forward in search of an equaliser, allowing substitute Mijat Gacinovic to score a third with the last kick of the game following a breakaway to give Frankfurt their fifth DFB Cup triumph.
Man of the match
Two chances, two goals. Rebic was absolutely clinical for Frankfurt, surgically slicing open Bayern's defence at key moments of the game to pull off an unlikely triumph for the underdogs.
- Lewandowski finished as the DFB Cup's top scorer this season with six goals. He has now scored four times in finals – equalling a competition record set by Hamburg legend Uwe Seeler and Bayern icon Gerd Müller. Bayern had 77 per cent of possession to Frankfurt's 23, and 16 shots to the Eagles' seven. Frankfurt had not previously beaten Bayern in any competition since March 2010. These sides also met in the 2006 final, with Claudio Pizarro scoring the only goal of the game for Bayern. Marco Russ and Alex Meier both featured for Frankfurt that day. The last game of Heynckes’ previous tenure was also the DFB Cup final, when Bayern beat Stuttgart 3-2 to win the treble in 2013. Kovac won the cup as part of a double with Bayern in 2002/03.
Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Thiago (Tolisso 64'), Martinez, James – Müller (c) (Coman 70'), Lewandowski, Ribery (Wagner 87')
Unused subs: Neuer, Wagner, Rafinha, Bernat, Rudy
Absentees: J. Boateng (adductor), Vidal (knee), Coman (ankle), Robben (adductor)
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Frankfurt: Hradecky – Salcedo, Abraham (c), Hasebe – Da Costa, K.P. Boateng, Mascarell, De Guzman (Russ 74'), Willems – Wolf (Gacinovic 60'), Rebic (Haller 89')
Unused subs: Zimmermann, Jovic, Fabian,Tawatha
Absentees: Fernandes (suspended)
Coach: Niko Kovac